January 2012 Archive
2012-01-31: Complaints figures for the third quarter of last year just released by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show the overall number of complaints in the top five reported categories up 10% from the second quarter total - to 66,847 from 59,080: A year earlier the figure for the top four reported categories was 47,947.
Within the total Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints decreased by more than 3% compared to the second quarter - down from 2,164 to 2,083: This compared with a third quarter 2010 total of 2,611.
Of the broadcasting complaints "other programming" complaints formed the largest category - 881 in all - compared to 1,026 in the second quarter and 950 in the third quarter of 2010. The second largest category was of Indecency/Obscenity complaints - 538 - down from 617 in the second quarter and from 958 n the third quarter of 2010.
Previous FCC Complaints (To second quarter of 2011)
2012-01-31: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia has announced that the Australian radio industry is to commence a trial using online data and then mobile devices for radio ratings as a supplement to its current diary system although it is still evaluating the use of electronic monitoring devices.
The online data trial - to be launched in March by Ipsos and involving 300 people is to be followed by what Commercial Radio Australia calls "a world-first application for tablets and mobile phones, which will allow people to input their listening habits via these devices."
It adds that the developments approaches have been implemented as a result of recommendations put forward by the industry's Research Committee which oversees the audience survey system and has been investigating best practice for listenership audience measurement in a changing digital environment.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief Executive Joan Warner commented in a release, "Australian radio has one of the most robust listenership measurement systems in the world but that doesn't stop us investigating ways to improve it further. It also should be remembered that one of radio's major strengths, its mobility and reach into all situations, conversely provides one of the major challenges for radio audience measurement."
Henry Tajer, Chair of the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) added, "We are pleased that the radio industry is exploring additional data collection methods that will help to bring radio measurement into the 21st century. MFA looks forward to working with the industry over the next few months to test and progress additional forms of digital measurement."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2012-01-31: Clear Channel in a release that terms the deal "New Investment Agreements To Drive Growth And Innovation Across Multiple Media Platforms" has announced that funds sponsored by its majority investors Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) and Bain Capital are to commit up to USD 300 million to developments with Ryan Seacrest Media (RSM) in addition to which Clear Channel is to take a minority stake in Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP))
The funds they say will work with "RSM to identify, acquire and develop innovative media companies, media content and other media properties that can be leveraged to support a range of media enterprises."
As regards the shareholding they that that RSP, a privately-held entertainment production company that amongst other things produces the hit series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," and various spin-offs, will remain creatively autonomous and continue as an independently-operated entity, majority-owned by Ryan Seacrest.
Seacrest is also the host and executive producer of "On Air With Ryan Seacrest," the morning drive-time show on Clear Channel Radio's KIIS-FM in Los Angeles that is syndicated to around 150 stations (This deal was renewed for three years in 2010 - See RNW Nov 30, 2010) and was involved in the development and execution of key projects for Clear Channel such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, the biggest live concert festival in radio history, which he hosted.
RSP is to continue to develop and produce content for network and studio partners, including NBC Universal and will now "also collaborate with Clear Channel on the production and distribution of both scripted and unscripted television programming as well as other media and entertainment content, leveraging the promotional reach of Clear Channel's vast audiences, assets and relationships."
Clear Channel Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman, THL Managing Director Richard Bressler, and Bain Managing Director Ian Loring, it adds, will work with Seacrest and the RSP management team "to maximize the strategic and operational value of the RSP relationship with Clear Channel. Bressler and Loring will work with Seacrest separately to maximize the RSM investment initiative."
Pittman commented of the agreements, "Ryan is an unmatched creative talent with success across more media platforms and involvement with a greater variety of programming and venues than anyone else in the industry.
"His combination of business acumen and keen understanding of consumers and popular entertainment is an incredible asset. We're eager to collaborate with him in developing new and significant opportunities in the television arena in a way that can maximize our relationships with music and other talent, bring greater benefits to our advertisers, and further build Clear Channel's singular ability to deliver local, mobile and social execution across a truly national audience base."
Bressler added, "Ryan Seacrest is not only an enormous talent as an individual, but a leading business visionary who has his finger on the pulse of the evolving dynamics in the media industry. He and his business initiatives are quite literally driving the future of how media can create value in ways never dreamed of in prior decades, and we are pleased to be his partner, both through Clear Channel as well as through our separate, new and exciting media property investment initiative. Putting the scope, scale, reach and resources of Clear Channel and the THL and Bain teams behind Ryan and his team underscores what he can achieve in this industry."
Seacrest commented, "We aim to build Ryan Seacrest Media into a leading multi-media company with diversified assets and interests," said Seacrest. "The entertainment industry is thriving with innovation more than ever before. I'm excited to collaborate with Clear Channel, THL and Bain Capital to seize on investment opportunities that capitalize on unique content, new technologies and distribution platforms. Bob, Rich and Ian bring a wealth of experience, ideas, and resources and it's truly a privilege to get to work so closely with them as we embark on this new endeavour. I believe we all share a vision and a commitment to success."
Previous Clear Channel:
2012-01-30: The BBC Trust in its review of BBC Radio 5 Live and digital sister station 5 Live Sports Extra has called on the station to ensure that its features and discussion output should be "clearly driven by news or a topical issue" and also says that it would like it to do more to cover sport not covered by commercial radio and "to build on its commitment to non-mainstream or minority sports."
Overall it was fairly complimentary to the station saying that news coverage on it has 'breadth, depth, wit and intelligence', and nine out of 10 listeners rate sports coverage on the station as high quality but the review has prompted self-interested reaction from commercial rival UTV-owned talkSPORT which had previously been critical of the news and minority sports cover of Radio 5 Live calling on the BBC to act on the recommendations and reserving judgment until it does.
UTV Media (GB) managing director, Scott Taunton, told the UK Guardian, "Whilst the trust has set out a number of important actions, we will need to wait and see whether this has a material impact on 5 Live's performance and distinctiveness. We will therefore be watching the response of BBC management closely."
He added, "The BBC Trust's report also sets out some surprising figures for programme expenditure at 5 Live. This includes the revelation that 5 Live spends more money on sports programming than on news, despite news accounting for over three times more airtime.
"We welcome the trust's recommendation that expenditure should be rebalanced towards news and restate our offer to participate in an appropriate benchmarking study to help BBC management identify efficiency opportunities."
Commercial industry body the RadioCentre in a statement said it was "pleased to note that, as recommended in our response, the Trust has identified the service should prioritise news and minority sport more than it currently does" but then went on to express concern that "no attention has been given to the role the services have in reflecting the UK's nations, regions and communities with regards to regional news reporting, or using 5 live Sports Extra as a means to drive further digital growth by making it the home of popular sport."
The RadioCentre Chief Executive Andrew Harrison commented, "This is a worthy and thorough analysis by the BBC Trust. Its recommendations suggest some modest changes to 5 Live's operation but miss the opportunity to provide the step change that some had called for. 5 Live should always be a beacon of excellence in delivering the BBC's highest editorial priority, to provide the best journalism in the world."
He went on to note the highlighting of "several areas, identified by listeners and commercial radio broadcasters, which will enable 5 live to fulfil its public service remit more effectively" and said "We welcome these" and added, "Reducing the future amount of non-news items and Premier League Football coverage on the services are also a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, at a time of intense public scrutiny on journalistic standards this seems like a missed opportunity for the BBC."
The Trust review was led by Alison Hastings, a former editor of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. She told the Victoria Derbyshire on her 10:00 to noon show on Radio Five Live - an interview preceded by comments from listeners comments from the review that were generally complimentary of the output but included a comment about trivialising the news because of the time that had to be filled and another about the absence of minority sports and another about too many celebrity interviews and about the amount spent on sports - that the report would not have a major impact on the station as far as listeners were concerned.(Audio is at 1hr 06 in with Hastings comments starting at 1hr 10 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b9hlzfor the next six days).
Hastings began by noting that the review had been "very favourable"; had found that the station's news coverage has "has 'breadth, depth, wit and intelligence'" and that nine out of 10 listeners rate sports coverage on the station as very high quality"- on a "station that is not a sports station, we felt that was slightly out of kilter." All in all, however, she said it was a "very positive review."
Regarding the budget she said noted that although the remit was that 75% of output should be news, more was spent on sport, even if the cost of soccer cover was taken out of the equation. People had got the message the station did sport, she said, and the Trust would like future marketing expenditure to concentrate on "news" content.
Regarding non-news features, she said, "One of the big debates is how you define what news is?" she said, noting a previous appearance on the programme when the issue was debated.
She noted that audiences liked parts of "very newsy programmes" to be "Non-news", what she termed part of the "Light and shade"... "The audience really likes the fact that it's not wall to wall hard news the whole time."
Refining the comment after being asked about specific features - such as "going out in your dressing gown" she added, "One word we have used that would help guide what you do is topicality. There is a big difference to something being topical, even if it is quite frivolous and light-hearted, to anything at all The audience does differentiate that and you are a station that is supposed to be highly regarded for news."
She also commented on the subjective nature of a judgment about what is news - 30% of those asked she said, considered entertainment reports to be news but it depended on what other things were happening.
On sports she said the station should consider striving to cover a wide range of sports - bringing in another caller at this stage who said that at a time when the BBC had lost "an awful lot of sport", finding time to cover baseball, American Football and those kinds of sport was "a bit rich" and the station should in fact increase its cover of majority sports rather than devote time to them.
Hastings commented that the requirement was that the station would have to explain why programmes were "news" and that was a "High bar" although it was up to management to say what programmes were.
She noted about the change in remit from requiring an appeal to a young and more diverse audience to a broad one that this was being made because it reflected what was already being done and the station was not a youth station. She also noted a change from a requirement for "continuous news" to that of "breaking news" as also reflecting what was already being done.
Overall asked about what would change, Hastings commented, "It was a very successful review. The station's doing incredibly well. I don't think you are going to hear a massive gear change from 5 Live."
She added of sport, "You will be hearing a wider range of sport, certainly as a result of the Olympics. Hopefully you will hear a little bit more a wider range of sports than you do at the moment over time. That is to do with availability...who knows after the Olympics what sport will capture the public imagination I don't think any listener will hear a wholesale change to the station."
BBC Radio 5 Live -Monday- links ot audio of Derbyshire interview (Commences around 1hr 6mins in and runs for around 18 minutes;Available until next Monday show airs):
BBC Trust - Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra Review (65-page 1.03 Mb PDF)
UK Guardian report:
2012-01-30: Greater Media has named industry veteran Rob Williams as the Market Manager of for its Boston-based radio properties- WROR-FM, WKLB-FM, WBOS-FM, WTKK-FM and WMJX-FM: He succeeds VP and Boston Market Manager Tom Baker who is retiring after more than a decade with the company, and will take up his post on Feb 6.
Welcoming Williams and paying tribute to Baker, General Media Chairman and CEO Peter H. Smyth commented in a news release, "Rob is the perfect choice to lead the Greater Media Boston team. His wealth of knowledge and outstanding track record speaks for itself. We are thrilled to welcome him to our family (and of Baker) Tom's contributions to the team have been immeasurable since he joined the organization in January of 2009. We wish him the very best as he begins the next chapter in his life. I consider it a privilege to call him my friend ."
Williams is a former Clear Channel Radio executive - he joined the company when it acquired AMFM Inc. in 2000 and following a successful spell as its Philadelphia Market Manager was promoted to its Senior Management team in 2001 and also served as its President and Market Manager for its New York City stations.
Williams left Clear Channel in 2008 after it was taken over by private equity interests and became CEO of Internet radio start-up Goom Radio, a service he launched in the U.S. in 2009. Most recently he was CEO of Digital Brand Connections LLC, a company he co-founded.
Previous Greater Media:
2012-01-30: BBC Radio 4 Extra has announced that its Head of Programming, Mary Kalemkerian, is to retire after more than three decades at the corporation and a career in which in 2002 she launched BBC Radio 7- the predecessor to Radio 4 Extra ten years ago - and the digital station's subsequent re-branding to its current format last year.
She was also BBC Radio 5's chief producer of youth magazine programmes when it launched in 1990.
Kalemkerian joined the corporation in 1980 at Radio Scotland where she launched the now defunct daily pre-schools programme, Nickety Nackety and then four years later moved to take to producer posts in Schools Radio, London, and was producer of BBC Radio 4's Cat's Whiskers children's magazine series from Manchester.
In 1993 she moved from programme making to become Senior Commissioning Editor for the Radio Collection at BBC Worldwide: It published audio releases that included audio releases as Knowing Me, Knowing You and Goodness Gracious Me, and Kalemkerian worked with writers and performers such as Alan Bennett, Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Galton and Simpson, Armando Iannucci, Martin Jarvis, Pam Ayres and June Whitfield. That experience gave her knowledge of the archive and rights issues that were invaluable for Radio 7.
Paying tribute to Kalemkerian, Gwyneth Williams, Controller of Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra, said, "We will miss Mary and her enthusiasm and knowledge of our unique archive, but she leaves behind her a wonderful legacy. Her editorial leadership has been a key part of making Radio 4 Extra into what it is today, for which I'm very grateful. Mary hands on the baton to her excellent team who will continue to bring the very best in archive comedy and drama to Radio 4 Extra's growing audience."
Kalemkerian's post will go with her departure - the BBC says her "responsibilities will be taken on by an integrated management team for both Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra"
2012-01-29: Last week was even quieter than usual for the regulators as regards radio specific announcements with none from Australia and only a few elsewhere:
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made just one radio posting - Approval of application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to operate a 262 watts FM transmitter at Pemberton, British Columbia, to replace its existing low-power transmitter CBXK-AM that carried the programming of CBU-AM, Vancouver.
The CBC said the move to FM was needed because a mixed-use building was recently constructed near its AM station and the current tower owner intends to erect a self-supporting cellular tower nearby that would further decrease the signal's quality.
The CRTC also announced the appointment of as Leonard Katz as Acting Chairman following the end of the chairman's term for Konrad von Finckenstein (See RNW Jan 25).
There was also only one radio-related posting from Ireland - the announcement by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) of details of the allocation of Euros 962,000 (USD 1.25 million) in funding to radio projects in the 12th round of its Broadcasting Funding Scheme (See RNW Jan 25) whilst from the UK Ofcom's sole radio posting was of its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which upheld no complains against radio (See RNW Jan 23).
In the US the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also had a very quiet week as regards radio apart from routine matters: It did fine a Florida pirate operator USD 10,000 after issuing an NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) for this amount in October last year (See RNW Licence News Oct 30, 2011 -PUT IN LINK) to which it received no response. It therefore confirmed the penalty.
In response to a complaint in January and March last year agents had traced a signal to a residence shared by Cernogg amongst others; Subsequently in April agents inspected the premises after Miami Police secured a warrant and found the equipment responsible for the transmission and a person who rented a room said Cernogg had put the radio equipment in the locked area where MPD found it, and also provided Cernogg's phone number.
An internet search showed profile information for user "LadyLuckRadio907FMMiami" discussing an underground radio station on 90.7 FM in Miami, the frequency used and also that the domain ladyluckradio.net, was registered to him.
Previous Licence News:
2012-01-28: The Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York has now approved a settlement that was announced in December last year between The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and The American Society Of Composers, Authors And Publishers (ASCAP) and will cut significantly the amount radio pays to composers (See RNW Dec 5, 2011): The deal returned payment for musical work by composers represented by ASCAP to a revenue-based structure.
The new agreement, which replaced a previous one that expired at the end of 2009, runs from the start of 2010 to the end of 2016 and interim fees had been payable until the agreement was approved by the court.
Under the deal approved by Judge Denise L. Cote licence fees, which had reached around 3% of radio industry revenues for ASCAP - and also for the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc), are set at 1.7% of revenues, a reduction that will this year cut around UD 80 million from the amount that would have been payable under the previous agreement.
It includes a USD 75 million amount for 2010-2011 industry payments to be made in five annual instalments of USD 15 million from this year to 2016 and allows the radio industry to keep some USD 40 million in fee reductions that the court had ordered as an interim settlement until litigation ended. In addition to the 1.7% gross revenue structure the deal allows talk stations that use music a base level free of 0.2958% of gross revenue.
Both are reduced by deductions of 12% for revenues from over the air terrestrial analogue and HD multicast revenues and a 25% standard deductions for revenues from new media: The agreement also expands the "new media" platform cover to developing areas such as websites and wireless devices such as smart phones.
ASCAP's billing statements for January this year are down about 30% for most US radio stations and RMLC Chairman Ed Christian, who is also CEO of Saga Communications at the time the in principle deal was announced termed it a "gratifying result" that reflects the reality of our industry's economy and puts the industry back on a sound footing insofar as its licensing relationship with ASCAP is concerned.
ASCAP Chief Executive Officer John LoFrumento added, "The process of building this agreement was based on mutual trust and appreciation, and reflected both sides' clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities we each see for the future. I want to thank the Radio Music License Committee for its creative approach in respecting the value provided by music creators in our negotiations."
2012-01-27: Sirius XM Radio has given former New York fire and police commissioner Howard Safir his own show for al six-week run starting on Sunday.
"The Badge with Howard Safir" says the company will explore "the heroism, challenges of law enforcement" and will take calls from listeners who will "get answers to everything they wanted to ask a police officer".
For the first show Safir's special guest will be former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani under whose administration Safir wasappointed Fire Commissioner at the start of 1994 and then as Police Commissioner in April 1996, a post he held until he resigned in August 2000.
He then moved into the private sector, initially as a consultant to the chief executive of ChoicePoint Inc, for whom he late ran their Bode Technology Group subsidiary that they purchased the next year on his advice.
He became CEO of Bode in 2007 when it was sold to GlobalOptions Group Inc. and is currently Chairman and CEO of Vigilant Resources International (VRI).
Commenting on the show in a Sirius XM news release, Safir said, "I am excited to have a national platform on which to share the bravery and hard work of our law enforcement officials and give listeners the chance to ask anything of some of the best in our field."
For Sirius XM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein added, "Many of our listeners are fascinated by the world of America's police. Howard Safir has amazing experience, insight and some great stories; he and his guests will bring police on the radio to a new level and our listeners will get answers to everything they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask."
Previous Sirius XM:
2012-01-26: BBC director-general Mark Thompson is to step down from his post at the end of next year or early in 2012 according to the UK Guardian, which says he signalled the move to senior colleagues although it quotes no specific sources.
Other newspapers are carrying similar reports but all seem to post-date that of the Guardian and have no additional verification.
The report follows a speech earlier this week by BBC Trust chairman Lord Chris Patten in which he not only referred to a call from the Trust for the BBC to scale back its plans for cuts to local radio (See RNW Jan 25) but also confirmed that he was looking for a successor to Thompson with the salary on offer to be substantially cut.
Thompson took up his post in May 2004 (See RNW May 22, 2004), following the resignations of former BBC Director Greg Dyke and chairman Gavyn Davies in the wake of criticism of the BBC Radio 4 Today Show's reporting on the death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly. He is paid a basic salary of GBP 631,000 (USD 999,000) a year and last year was paid GBP 779,000 (USD 1.25 million).
He returned to the corporation from Channel 4 TV, where he had been Chief Executive from 2002 and 2004, having worked for the BBC before that in various roles on the BBC2 Newsnight current affairs programme, as editor of the Nine O'Clock News and the Panorama current affairs programme then as controller of BBC2 between 1996 and 1998 and becoming director of television in 2000.
Speculation on a successor has included the names of Helen Boaden, Director of BBC News; Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio and Music; George Entwistle, director of BBC Vision; Peter Salmon, Director of BBC North and chief operating officer Caroline Thomson.
UK Guardian report:
2012-01-26: Hubbard Broadcasting's WTOP has cancelled the "Friday Politics Program" hosted by Mark Plotkin with immediate effect according to the Washington Post's Erik Wemple in his blog.
Plotkin has been with the station for nearly a decade and Wemple posts an e-mail to staff that says, "We are cancelling the Friday Politics Program effective immediately. WTOP and Mark Plotkin are parting ways. We wish him the best in his future endeavours. "
No reason was given but Wemple also quotes WTOP VP News and Programming Jim Farley as saying the move was the station's decision: "We've parted ways," says Farley. Was the parting at the initiative of WTOP? "Yes," says Farley. "He's no longer with us."
The show's page was still live when we last checked but ended with last Friday's show and Plotkin's page seemed to have disappeared with no mention we could find of Plotkin anywhere on the station's website and on the host's WTOP Twitter page the last entries were from Jan 25. .
Plotkin made his name on WAMU-FM, where he became full-time in 1990 and contributed to the "D.C. Politics and Government Hour", later shortened to the "D.C. Politics Hour": He left for WTOP in 2002.
Wemple's blog quotes two unnamed WTOP sources as saying that Plotkin's behaviour in the workplace led to his dismissal and that on repeated occasions Plotkin has lashed out at fellow employees in ways that have disrupted the newsroom.
Plotkin declined comment about the reasons, saying "We just parted ways; that's it; so don't even ask any other questions. It was a great tens years and there'll be other things to do."
Almost inevitably the departure led to speculation that he could join CBS Radio's just-launched all-news competitor to WTOP, WNEW-FM, although there's been nothing from the host or CBS to suggest that such a move is on the cards.
Washington Post - Wemple blog:
WTOP Politics Program:
2012-01-25: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that following the end of the chairman's term for Konrad von Finckenstein on Tuesday it has appointed Leonard Katz as Acting Chairman.
Katz, who was previously the agency's as the Executive Director of Broadcasting and Telecommunications has served as the CRTC's Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications since October 2007: Before that he was in the private sector for 30 years, serving amongst other things as President and Chief Operating Officer of Digimerge Technologies and President of Rogers Business Solutions.
He will serve in the role until the Canadian government appoints a new chairperson.
Previous von Finckenstein:
2012-01-25: The BBC Trust has said that the Corporation's executive should revisit its proposals for cuts made in its on Delivering Quality First plans, particularly those that would have seen deep cuts in local radio and regional services.
The Trust made the comments in its interim report on the plans posted today and the response also formed part of BBC Chairman (Lord) Chris Patten's speech to the Oxford Media Convention today: In its comments the Trust notes that it is "It is a new experience for the BBC to see its income fall significantly in real terms" but later adds, " we remain confident that the BBC can provide an outstanding public service to its audiences across TV, radio and online, and we are determined that this is done as well, and efficiently, as possible."
It is setting a target the Executive to generate annual efficiency savings of 11 per cent by 2016-17 and says that it "had a high level of response to our public consultation"
"Most respondents," says the Trust "expressed specific concerns based on their particular listening/viewing interests, although there is a general recognition of the financial constraints faced by the BBC and the need for us to make difficult choices" and it goes on to note that it has identified "a small number of areas where we have asked the Executive to re-think their plans - most notably where we feel that particular proposals would have an unduly detrimental impact on the BBC's journalistic output."
In a section on responses it says in regard to local radio, "The local radio proposals could risk local radio stations' ability to perform key functions such as holding local decision makers to account and promoting community cohesion. Some also commented that, combined with changes to English regional current affairs on television, the proposals could damage the BBC's journalistic offering to an audience not easily reached by others - particularly given the contracting local and regional media offer from commercial providers."
In all 40 English local radio stations were to have seen their overall budget cut by around GBP 15 million ( USD 23.5 million) with some 280 jobs to disappear as part of plans to cut BBC spending by 20% over five years and Patten in his speech commented, "our consultation and our research have raised real concerns that some aspects of the plans as they stand would have a disproportionate impact on its local and regional output and the contribution such output makes to the most important priority for the BBC - its journalism. "
He goes on to say that as a result "we have asked the management to look again at the planned cuts to local radio. To see if they can find more money to protect the local identity of services:
*To scale back the plans for local stations to share their afternoon content with their neighbours, although we accept that in some cases that might still be the best option
*To ensure they have an adequately staffed newsroom
*And to give them a bit more freedom to protect some of their more specialist and content out of peak, whether it be rugby league or specialist music."
He added that the Trust has have also asked for a re-think of the plans for merging regional current affairs programmes in England into 'super-regions'.
"In total, "says Patten, "we expect these changes to cost the BBC no more than GBP 10 million (USD 15.6 million). We have asked the Executive to bring us new proposals along with suggestions for how they might save the money from non-content budgets.
The BBC Executive responded with a statement in which it said, "We welcome the Trust's endorsement of the majority of our Delivering Quality First proposals at this stage. We note their request for us to make some changes to our proposals in local radio and regional current affairs which we will be working on over the next two months."
It continued, "These proposals have required us to make some tough choices and we are glad that in the vast majority of cases we will be able to progress with changes we believe are necessary to ensure a future BBC that is sustainable, and able to offer the programmes and services most valued by licence fee payers."
The BBC in an online news report posted details of an e-mail to staff from BBC English regions controller David Holdsworth in which he said, "I am sure anyone working at one of our Local Radio stations or in one of our Inside Out teams will be pleased by this news.
"It is also gratifying to see that so many listeners and viewers value public service broadcasting at a local level and wrote to the Trust to say so. Put simply, it is clear many listeners and viewers feel passionately about what you do.?
"However it is also the case that every pound not saved in these areas will have to be found somewhere in the BBC, as the challenges set by the licence fee settlement remain the same, and we will have to bear this in mind as we make our revised proposals, which will still include savings."?
BBC Trust Interim report (222KB 15-page PDF)
BBC Trust - Patten Speech text (127KB 8-Page PDF)
BBC News report:
2012-01-25: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that Stillwater Broadcasting Limited's Manitoba station CJSB-FM, Swan River, breached broadcasting codes in a "news report" that it considered "included biased and editorialized material" contrary to the Codes of Ethics of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) and the Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and subsequently in revealing the names and addresses of complainants about the report.
In regards to the last decision the CBSC panel commented that "in future, such an action by any broadcaster will be viewed as a violation of its CBSC membership requirements of responsiveness."
The report was a follow-up to an ongoing story about a man who had been charged with animal abuse and had his animals seized by authorities. The report stated that the Swan Valley Animal Protection League (SVAPL), the group that was taking care of the animals, had requested additional money from the local government to cover the costs of spaying pregnant female dogs. It pointed out that puppies had been aborted and some had frozen to death when left outside with no shelter. The report concluded with comments that forced termination of pregnancies and the freezing death of puppies did not seem to be compatible with the SVAPL's mandate of promoting animal rights as an extension of human rights and that the accused man - Walter Goba - had not been charged with "killing even a single puppy".
The CBSC received numerous complaints about the report and says the broadcaster noted that the complaints seemed to be the result of an online campaign on the social media website Facebook and sent the same letter to all complainants with names and some e-mail addresses of all the complainants visible to everyone.
The broadcaster also included other complaints found via online outlets and the names of their authors (these people had not submitted complaints to the CBSC) and copied that response to the Rural Municipality of Swan River and the places of employment of two complainants.
Regarding the actual report, the station denied that any inaccurate information had been broadcast and said that it had not broadcast any "personal" attacks against the SVAPL because the League is not a person and no persons affiliated with the League were named.
It commented, "At no time has CJ Radio personally attacked anyone in the Goba affair. We have researched our stories and made sure we were fully comfortable with the fact we reported. We have required more of our sources in these matters than normal given the high profile status of this case" and later added, "I wish to point out a very simple, but extremely important, fact to the complainants in this matter: News you do not like and news that isn't true are two different things."
In terms of the circulation of its letter it said that "the one complainant's place of employment had been copied on this letter because she had been using that organization's letterhead paper to send some of her correspondence related to the animal seizure and her complaint against CJSB" and also commented, "We could have addressed an identical letter to each person separately, but we found value in a mass response. We carefully weighted the need for privacy. However, we found that given the entire complaint campaign had been orchestrated by a public Facebook group page, that already had published the full identities of each complainant on the internet, privacy was no longer expected."
The Panel ruled that it did not find Code violations with respect to the accuracy of the report and also accepted the broadcaster's "explanation for not including a statement from the SVAPL, namely that the SVAPL had publicly announced on its Facebook page that it would not be responding to any further media requests on this matter."
It did, however, find that the way the story was handled and some of the descriptions of the actions of the SVAPL it "presented an unjustified negative impression of the SVAPL"
It also disagreed with the station concerning the revelation of the names of complainants commenting, "The Panel considers that revealing complainants' names and e-mail addresses to other complainants in mass correspondence negatively impacts the customarily-productive dialogue process of the CBSC's system, violates the spirit of the responsiveness requirements set out in the Manual, and potentially raises broader privacy issues. The Panel's concerns about that principle in this case were exacerbated by the content of the actual letter because it cast aspersions on some of the complainants.
"In sum, CJSB should not have made the complainants' names and e-mail addresses visible to others. The CBSC expects that this practice will not be repeated by either CJSB or other CBSC members."
2012-01-25: The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced details of the allocation of Euros 962,000 (USD 1.25 million) in funding to radio projects in the 12th round of its Broadcasting Funding Scheme.
The funds go to a total of 97 projects - selected after 239 applications were assessed - all of which will "explore the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience."
The projects include eight radio drama projects together with a mix of documentary, educational and entertainment projects and 14 of the projects being offered funding will be in the Irish language/bi-lingual.
Amounts on offer rang upwards from Euros 1,750 Euros (USD 2,280 - to state broadcaster RTÉ for an English-language Science/Nature/Environment documentary "Abandoned") then Euros 3,280 (USD 4,270 - to community station Dublin South FM for an English-language History/Heritage Documentary "The Life and Legacy of Dom Marmion") and Euros 3,300 (USD 4,295 - to Community station Dundalk FM for another History/Heritage documentary "For the Beauty
of our town.") to Euros 41,000 (USD 53,400 - to RTÉ for an English- language Arts/Culture documentary "The Irish Eye") and Euros 48,000 (USD 62,500- to commercial broadcaster South East Radio for an English-language Science/Nature /Environment documentary "Wexford's Wild Heritage."
Irish-language projects included range from a Euros 6,000 (USD 7,800) award to Community broadcaster Radio na Life for a Contemporary Society drama "Ca bhfuil muid" to Euros 15,400 (USD 20,050) each awards to RTÉ for each of two Arts/Culture documentaries - "Scealta: Fado agas go Deo" and "Scleip" and a Euros 19,131.89 (USD 24,900) award to RTÉ for a History/Heritage documentary "Fuinneog Feirste."
Commenting on the awards, BAI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said in a news release, "This significant amount of funding, up by over Euros 150,000 (USD 195,000) when compared to the last funding round, will allow broadcasters and independent producers to make high quality radio projects for audiences around the country."
2012-01-24: Probably prompted by last week's USD 22,000 proposed penalty on Clear Channel for not airing contest details on a competition "advertised" on its Los Angeles stations (See RNW Jan 20), the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth in its fhhlaw blog has revealed that Entercom has petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to amend its current rules regarding competitions.
They currently require details to be aired by broadcasters, a requirement more difficult for radio to fulfil than TV, and Entercom in its petition asks that the Commission bring the rule "in line with how the majority of Americans access and consume information in the 21st century and to provide relief to radio from mandated program content that is counterproductive and not the most effective to achieve the purposes of the Contest Rule."
The seven-page petition, also posted, then goes on to say, "In today's fast paced world, Americans expect to instantly access information at their fingertips by merely logging on to a website, conducting a Google search, or using an
app on their smart phone" and continues "Relying on broadcast announcements for material contest information may have been an acceptable way to attempt to inform the public about the terms of a contest when the Contest Rule was enacted in 1976, but it is certainly not the case today, especially when there are superior methods that are simple to implement."
Entercom then goes on to note that "The vast majority of broadcasters already have dedicated websites where they can disclose complete contest information to the public that can be accessed 'on demand'" and can also "disseminate complete contest information to the public by email, facsimile, mail or in person."
It argues that being able to give information in written form rather than by announcements that "do not provide complete details, may not be heard and, even if heard by listeners, may not be fully comprehended as the listening environment for radio varies widely among listeners" means that the rule should be updated "to reflect today's communications landscape and thus better serve the public."
The fhl blog comments of the petition, "The FCC hasn't invited public comment on the petition yet, a step that would ordinarily occur before the Commission would formally propose adoption of the suggestion" and then goes on to make a suggestion - immediately qualified about an FCC pecuniary interest in retaining the system as it is - "At this point, we have no idea whether the Commission would be inclined to embrace Entercom's proposal - particularly because the existing contest rule has, through the forfeiture process, provided a nice revenue stream into the Commission's coffers. (In fairness to the Commission, we don't really know for sure that such crass pecuniary considerations would inevitably come into play here.)"
It ends by commenting, "We also suspect that some smaller radio stations won't like the idea of having to e-mail or fax rules on request. But rattling off a bunch of rules on the air is plainly tedious for broadcaster and listener alike. And why should anyone suffer that tedium when that exercise does not achieve the supposed goal of the exercise - i.e., publicizing the contest rules - because the FCC has never said exactly when, and how often, contest rules are required to be aired?"
RNW comment: We see valid arguments on both sides of this issue and there is no doubt that access to written information does make understanding rules more easy and that modern technology makes accessing this information much easier for most people (albeit not everyone has home access to the Internet or a mobile phone) .
At the same time the history of allowing lawyers to write over-complicated agreements that give a company a way out in far too many contested cases also suggests that it is not in the public interest to just change the rules to allow them to be posted not aired.
Maybe the answer is to limit the complexity of rules that are allowed - if they won't fit into say a maximum of three SMS messages the contest can't run without full on-air reading of the rules in any hour with a mention of it on air: That would certainly give an incentive to be straightforward about the rules without prohibiting complicated ones - even if they take twenty-minutes to read out!
fhhlaw blog re Entercom petition:
Entercom petition (435 kb 7-Page PDF):
2012-01-24: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upholds no radio complaints but notes the revocation of the Iranian-government financed Press TV and also upholds Standards complaints in 12 TV cases; gives details of three TV Standards complaints partly upheld, two more TV Standards complaints considered resolved and another TV Standards complaint not upheld.
It also lists a TV Advertising minutage case upheld ; another case in which the permitted number of breaks was exceeded and post details of four TV Fairness and Privacy complaints not upheld and four other TV programmes found not to be in breach of rules relating to Violence and dangerous behaviour; Charity appeals; and Product placement.
The numbers compare with one radio fairness and privacy upheld in part in the previous Bulletin in which Ofcom fined an adult TV channel GBP 130,000 (USD 201,000); upheld three TV standards complaints; gave details of five TV Fairness and Privacy Complaints not upheld; and posted a table of TV advertising schedule breaches that lists just one case in which the permitted advertising allowance was exceeded.
In the latest bulletin Ofcom also listed a total of 339 complaints against 178 TV items and 22 complaints against 17 radio items that it assessed but did not investigate: This compares with 668 complaints against 339 TV items and 32 complaints against 32 radio items that were assessed but not further investigated in the previous bulletin.
In addition to the above Ofcom also listed six TV and three radio cases where it has commenced investigations during the period from 5 to 18 January.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2012-01-23: The UK Guardian, owned by Guardian Media Group - the same parent, is reporting that GMG Radio is to cut back its 39-strong news team by around a third to remain "commercially competitive". Some half-dozen of the team are freelancers and the company has news operations in Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds and Cardiff.
It says the company took the decision following a review of its Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Real Radio XS operations but that GMG Radio chief executive Stuart Taylor said the stations will continue to air "appropriate" amounts of nationally and regionally produced news programming during peak hours but for non-peak times will now use an external news provider "where appropriate" to deliver content.
"Our stations will continue to provide a high calibre of news programming that is relevant to the listener," Taylor said. "We don't anticipate that the planned staffing changes will impact materially on the overall listener experience."
He added, "The decision to reduce what has been an extremely well-staffed team has been an incredibly difficult one but if we are to remain commercially competitive during these tough economic times then we have to ensure that we are operating as efficiently as possible."
Previous GMG Radio:
UK Guardian report:
2012-01-23: CBS Radio's WNEW-FM, an all-news competitor to Hubbard Broadcasting's Washington D.C. market leader WTOP, made its debut on Sunday afternoon, later than the Thursday launch originally announced but a little earlier than the 0500 today time then announced.
According to the Washington Post's Paul Farhi, the station "sounded much like WTOP. There were brief reports about the death of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, an apartment fire in Laurel and Newt Gingrich's win in the South Carolina Republican primary. As on WTOP, there were also weather and traffic updates at regular intervals. Even the advertisers were similar."
Farhi notes that without a direct commercial competitor WTOP had become the highest grossing station in the US with annual revenue in 2010 of USD 57.2 million according to BIA/Kelsey: CBS he adds will consider the new venture a success if it records around USD 10 million in advertising revenues according to CBS Radio's SVP and Market Manager in D.C., Steve Swenson.
Swenson was appointed to the role in June last year, taking over from Sam Rogers. He moved from New York where he oversaw the company's New York news stations WCBS-AM and WINS-AM (the third and eighth highest grossing stations in the US).
Swenson had been appointed President and General Manager of WCBS 880 in 1998, prior to which he was Vice President and General Manager of then Bonneville-owned WTOP-AM. He took over the additional WINS responsibilities in 2008.
Farhi notes that the high cost of running a news format deterred competitors to WTOP but that Swenson sensed that Washington was ready for a competitor to WTOP - now owned by Hubbard Broadcasting and airing on AM and FM).
"There are usually choices in any radio format in a market" - two or three pop music stations, for example, Swenson told Farhi. "In this market, there wasn't" a second all-news station."
He added that CBS, which operates eight all news station, had experience with the format, commenting, "We kind of know what works and what doesn't work."
In terms of staffing WNEW has 39 people in its newsroom, around a third of the number at WTOP, and the station's program director acknowledged that the eight field reporters within this "is not a lot of boots on the ground."
He went on to note that the station will be airing weather updates every four minutes, traffic reports every 10 minutes, business and sports twice hourly, plus 17 minutes an hour of commercials, and added, "The goal is not to be WTOP. The idea is, you punch the button and you'll find out what's happening now. You don't always get that on WTOP. I hear a lot of process on WTOP - national-security stories, political minutiae. They can sound like a very glossy magazine. That's great, but when something is happening, you don't pick up a magazine to find out about it."
At WTOP, VP News and Programming Jim Farley, who joined WTOP from ABC Radio in 1996, played down the threat from WNEW, commenting, "They have a tough task ahead of them.
The news appetite is already satisfied" by what's available. "News is just everywhere. It's on the radio, TV, print, your cellphone" and adding that WTOP would not be making changes in view of the new competitor.
Washington Post report:
2012-01-22: Last week again saw only a fairly quiet week for most of the regulators and again there were no radio postings from Ireland or the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) proclaimed success in a court case against a Melbourne amateur who had caused interference and also ruled that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had breached its code of practice.
The Melbourne case involved a 63-year-old man who pleaded guilty in the Werribee Magistrates Court to offences of unlicensed operation of a radiocommunications device, unlawful possession of a radiocommunications device and causing interference to radiocommunications.
He had been a licensed amateur until 2008 when he was investigated by the ACMA following extensive complaints about interference. It cancelled his licence but he continued to use his amateur radio regularly from his home.
The ACMA traced a signal to his home following further complaints of interference but operations continued despite warnings by the ACMA and a search revealed that he had equipment that was set to the radio frequencies that had been interfered with.
The man, who could have been jailed for two years, was placed the defendant on a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered him to dispose of all of the seized equipment within four months and prove to the ACMA in writing that he had disposed of the equipment.
In the ABC case, 2RN, Sydney, was found to have breached a code relating to accuracy in one statement made in a Background Briefing report concerning the government's proposed legislation to require plain packaged cigarettes.
The complainant - the Director of the Intellectual Property (IP) and Free Trade Unit at the Institute of Public Affairs - had alleged that the programme made reports that were inaccurate and misleading and also that the ABC had not corrected its errors made in the 49 minute programme in which he had been featured.
The ACMA said the ABC had been in error in stating that it had has shown a transcript of the complainant's comments to Intellectual Property Australia but had not made other breaches and in a correction had made it clear that it had not "shown" the transcript but had "read" it to IP Australia and thus did not breach codes relating to corrections.
The ACMA also posted a proposal to allow 4KQ, Brisbane, which since 2007 has been has been conducting a day/night transmitter power switching trial in Brisbane on AM frequency 693 kHz, and to be allowed to adopt the current power specifications permanently.
The ACMA notes that the change has seen a significant improvement in the coverage of the 4KQ service: Comments on the proposal have to be submitted by 17:00 on February 17.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) posted two licensing decisions for operations in British Columbia where it:
*Approved an application by UFV Campus and Community Radio Society to increase from 220 to 520 watts the power of CIVL-FM, Abbotsford, and relocate the transmitter site.
Earlier the Commission had authorized CIVL-FM and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) transmitter CBU-1-FM, Abbotsford, to exchange frequencies and also authorized CIVL-FM to broadcast at 101.7 MHz from the same site as CBU-1-FM. Subsequently the CRTC authorized the CBC to move its transmitter to a new site approximately 0.5 km away and as a result UFV has requested that the Commission authorize it to move its transmitter to the same site.
*Denied an application by Matthew Gordon McBride, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, (McBride) for a broadcasting licence to operate a 970 watts English-language commercial FM in Squamish, British Columbia. The application was opposed by Westwave Broadcasting Inc. and Rogers Broadcasting Limited: Westwave expressed concern over the Squamish market's ability to sustain a new FM station, the applicant's ability to achieve its projected revenues and the applicant's minimal capital and operational cost projections and Rogers argued that the synergies associated with operating its own stations (CISQ-FM, Squamish, CISW-FM Whistler and CKKS-FM, Sechelt -known as "Mountain FM") as a single entity have allowed it to provide a relevant and high quality local service in each community.
Rogers took the view that Squamish cannot support a stand-alone service as proposed by the applicant without significantly compromising the quality and extent of the local service Rogers provides to Squamish and other parts of Mountain FM's coverage area.
McBride argued that the that the proposed station would not be a stand-alone service as it operates stations in nearby Pemberton, Tofino, Ucluelet and a soon-to-be-launched station in Port Moody and said that in its view, the natural synergies of this group of stations will come to bear in Squamish.
The CRTC in denying the application noted that retail sales forecasts for Squamish are generally positive, with 4.3% annual growth estimated for the period of 2011 to 2016 but said it considers that the economic linkages that exist between the Squamish and Whistler markets are such that the new FM station in Whistler would be likely to have an impact on the revenues and profitability of the two Rogers stations currently serving the Squamish/Whistler corridor and said that given the financial performance of the incumbent Rogers stations serving the Squamish/Whistler corridor approval of a new station to serve Squamish would not be appropriate at this time.
The CRTC also posted a consultation notice, with a February 21 deadline for submission of interventions of comments relating to items on the agenda for a March 21 meeting at its HQ in Gatineau, Quebec, that includes the following radio applications:
*Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to change the frequency of its rebroadcasting transmitter CBCX-FM-1, Edmonton (which carried the signal of CBCX-FM. Calgary), from 90.1 to 101.1 MHz and decrease its power from 100,000 to 3,931 watts and effective height of antenna above average terrain from 193.0 to 123.7 metres.
The CRTC notes that this application cannot be separated from another application in which the CBC seeks to change the frequency of its transmitter CHFA-10-FM (which carries the signal of CHFA-AM, Edmonton) from 101.1 to 90.1 MHz; increase its power from 3,931 to 100,000 watts; and increase the effective height of antenna above average terrain from 123.7 to 193.0 metres. The CBC also seeks revocation of the licence of CHFA-AM after a three months simulcast period.
The CBC would associate other CHFA-AM rebroadcasting transmitters (CBRF-FM, Calgary; CHFA-1-FM, Lethbridge; CHFA-2-FM, Red Deer; CHFA-3-FM; Peace River; CHFA-4-FM, Hinton; CHFA-5-FM, Grande Prairie; CHFA-6-FM; Fort McMurray; CHFA-7-FM; Falher; and CHFA-8-FM, Medicine Hat) with the new transmitter and it says the proposed changes would allow it to improve the coverage of its radio services in Edmonton.
Application by Tom Heeney for a broadcasting licence to operate a 17 watts English-language, low-power Christian music format specialty FM in The Pas, with a rebroadcasting transmitter in Flin Flon.
Application by Dufferin Communications Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a 500 watts soft Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening music format English-language commercial FM in Hudson/St-Lazare.
Applications by Rawlco Radio Ltd. for authority to effect a multi-step corporate reorganization involving the transfer of the assets of CJCQ-FM North Battleford, CJHD-FM, North Battleford; CJNB-AM, North Battleford; and CJNS-FM, Meadow Lake, and requiring the issuance of new licences. The licences for CJHD-FM and CJNS-FM expire on 31 March 2012, whereas those for CJCQ-FM and CJNB expire on 31 August 2012 and 31 August 2014, respectively.
After the transfer voting interests in the station held by Rawlco's partners in Northwestern Radio Partnership, which is controlled by Rawlco, would be transferred to Rawlco.
As already noted there were no radio postings from Ireland or the UK but in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was back in enforcement mode, proposing a USD 22,000 penalty on Clear Channel for competition rule breaches - and warning of heavier penalties if the company persists in breaking these rules (See RNW Jan 20); a USD 17,000 penalty on a Nassau-owned Pennsylvania AM for operations in contravention of its licence terms and public inspection file breaches (See RNW Jan 19); and a USD 10,000 penalty on a Florida pirate operator (Also RNW Jan 20). It also issued USD 1,500 forfeiture to a Florida low-power FM for operating with an uncertified transmitter, having initially proposed a penalty of USD 12,000 to which the station responded with a successful request for a reduction on financial hardship grounds (See RNW Jan 18).
The agency also issued its summary of complaints during the first and second quarters of last year, both of them showing falls on the previous quarter and year-earlier figures (See RNW Jan 18)
The agency additionally announces an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) related to its 2010 Quadrennial review, which was published in the Federal Register on Jan 19. It sets out deadlines for comments of March 5 this year with a reply comments deadline of April 3.
Previous Licence News:
2012-01-21: Another Chicago veteran - John Records Landecker - has now landed a return stint with a deal to host the 1800-2300 slot at Cumulus Media's oldies WLS-FM: As Robert Feder notes in his Chicago Time Out blog, Landecker made his name at sister station top 40 WLS-AM four decades ago.
The move to the slot reports Feder will mean that another veteran - Radio Hall of Famer Dick Biondi - will move to a later slot and air from 2300- to 02:00. Biondi, reports Feder, is also expected to host a new, weekly one-hour show on weekends, highlighting the history and heritage of WLS
He quotes Michael Damsky, president and general manager of WLS as saying of the changes, "It's like having Mantle and DiMaggio playing centerfield in the same outfield. With John Landecker joining Dick Biondi in our evening talent line-up, we're thrilled to feature two of WLS's all-time biggest stars, representing two distinct eras of the radio station. It's great to be able to expand the presence and power of our brand."
Feder adds that to accommodate the new line-up Greg Brown's afternoon show will start thirty minutes earlier and air from 2:30 to 6pm weekdays.
Landecker had since December 17 been working part-time and weekends at WLS-FM and hosting a weekday afternoon show on Gerard Media's news, talk and sports WIMS-AM, Michigan City, Indiana, which is near his home.
He stepped down from The John Landecker Music Explosion at WIMS last week and told his former producer and now Radio Spotlight blogger Rick Kaempfer: "I loved being on WIMS. I really did . . . But the opportunity to come back to WLS, working for someone like Jan Jeffries was too good to pass up."
Jeffries, now Chicago-based senior vice president of programming for Cumulus Media, first worked with Landecker in the mid-80's when je was Program Director at the former WAGO-AM and Landecker hosted mornings.
Time Out Chicago -Feder report:
2012-01-20: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 22,000 penalty on Clear Channel over a competition advertised on its Los Angeles stations and also proposed a USD 10,000 penalty on a Miami pirate FM operator.
Clear Channel was issued with a USD 22,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) over a contest aired on KOST-FM, KHHT-FM, KBIG-FM, KYSR-FM; KIIS-FM; and KFI-AM following a July 2008 complaint that a contest in which listeners were invited to prepare and submit video commercials for Chevrolet in an effort to win the prize of an automobile was not conducted in accordance with its advertised terms; was rigged because the prize was awarded to a friend or family member of an employee of the Licensee and that the winning video was submitted after the Contest submission deadline.
Clear Channel in response to a Letter of Inquiry from the FCC denied that the contest was rigged and said that, although the prize was awarded to a friend of one of its employees, there were no irregularities involved and the selection was in accordance with the Contest rules; said no videos were submitted after the Contest submission deadline; and added that the contest was conducted entirely online.
It did admit, however, that the stations involved aired advertisements for the contest and that the rules were not broadcast, but instead were made available via the Stations' websites.
The Commission said that because the adverts were aired but the rules were not the company breached its rules and in addition also breached them by failing to accurately disclose its contest's material terms by providing conflicting information to listeners as to when the submissions were due.
It did however accept that Clear Channel had submitted evidence that credibly refutes suggestions that the contest had been rigged
The base penalty for the breach if USD 4,000 but the FCC proposed a penalty of USD 22,000 because of the number of stations that had been involved and added "in light of Clear Channel's prior history of non-compliance, we caution that the imposition of even higher forfeitures may result in the future if such misconduct persists."
In the Florida case in July last year agents responding to a complaint located an FM transmitter mounted in a tree at the rear of a Miami residence and observed that, when tuned to 98.7 MHz, the Radio Data System (RDS) display on their vehicle radio showed "98.7 FM ENERGY."
The station was not licensed and the FCC found that the station's website, www.energyfm987.com, listed "DJ Oneway" as a host of Energy FM and the number "1 786.357.5347" as DJ Oneway's contact phone number. The domain name, energyfm987.com, was registered to Robenson Thermitus
In August the antenna was still in the tree and a coaxial cable from the antenna entered the back of the residence: The owner said that a man known as "Oneway" installed and owned the radio transmitting equipment, which was located in a locked room in the back of her house and then called "Oneway" from her cellular phone and handed the phone to an agent. The man on the phone stated to the agent that he would make sure the equipment was removed, but did not admit to being the operator or owner of station.
Transmissions resumed after the agents had left and the FCC identified Thermitus from various documentation it traced. The facts, it says, show that he was responsible for operation of the station and it issued an NAL for the base amount of USD 10,000.
2012-01-20: Merlin Media, which some commentators think is aiming for the publicity as much as anything else, in aping CBS Radio's WINS-AM's long-time slogan "Give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world", for its New York News station WEMP-FM, has succeeded in achieving it and has attracted a letter from CBS's lawyers/
The two-page letter demands that Merlin "cease and desist from use of any CBS trademarks," which also includes "Traffic and weather together" following promotions in which WEMP says it doesn't have 22-minutes ad goes on, "Give us 10 minutes, we'll give you the world."
The New York Daily News notes that CBS attorney Robert Penchina says in the letter, "These slogans intentionally are confusingly similar" to the WINS slogan, and continues "Such uses are unlawful and constitute trademark infringement and have "no discernible purpose other than to garner free publicity from the trade press."
Merlin was given a Thursday deadline to end its use of the phrases and the paper says that although Merlin's vice president of programming Liz Aiello said Merlin was discussing its response the station on air was now using the promotional line "10 minutes of nonstop news."
In ratings terms, WEMP, which has already dropped its original lifestyle focus aimed at women and also now includes sports coverage, has an audience of some 620,000 a week compared to around 2.32 million for WINS.
New York Daily News report:
2012-01-19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 17,000 penalty on Nassau Broadcasting II, LLC, Debtor-in-Possession and licensee of WPLY-AM, Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, for operations in contravention of its licence terms and public inspection file breaches
The agency had carried out an inspection of the station in March last year at which it was found that the station WPLY did not have a local public inspection file and the station engineer and sales director both admitted that the station had never maintained a local public inspection file.
During a subsequent inspection of the station's transmitter site the FCC found that only one of its four authorized towers was being used and that with a only 250 watts instead of its authorized daytime power of 1000 watts. The station engineer said it had not obtained an STA to operate at variance from its licensed facilities.
The station applied for special temporary authority to operate at reduced power on April 5 last year and permission was granted the next day.
Subsequently an agent contacted Crown Castle, which maintains Station WPLY's towers and which reported that they had been maintaining WPLY's antenna structures for eight years and, during that time only one tower was in operation.
Nassau confirmed that, since it obtained the station in 2000, it had operated with only one tower at reduced power without ever having obtained an STA prior to the STA that was granted on April 6, 2010.
The agency has accordingly issued a USD 17,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability to Forfeiture) made up of USD 12,000 - USD 2,000 above the base USD 10,000 penalty - for the public file breach and USD 5,000 - USD 1,000 above the base penalty of USD 4,000 - for the unauthorized operation.
2012-01-19: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has held that a conversation mocking women on the Dean Blundell Show broadcast on Corus's CFNY-FM (102.1 The Edge, Toronto) breached Canadian codes but that comments about culling cats did not.
The latter came in a segment on March 25 in which there was a discussion in which Blundell commented of killing unwanted animals on a farm . You take 'em by the neck and you put 'em - in a bucket of water and you drown 'em."
Subsequently the hosts discussed their dislike for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and then Blundell went on to speak about the killing of some 120 cats -"Some of us had buckets, some of us .22s. I myself had a spade and you know what spade is?"
A listener complained about the glorification of violence against animals - and support of Blundell on his Facebook page - and complained to the station, which said it did not believe that Broadcasting Codes had been breached although it regretted that offence had been caused to the complainant.
The CBSC Ontario Panel, while acknowledging that discomfort "urban listeners in particular (that is, after all, the Toronto station's principal audience), could feel on hearing the substance and even the tone of the dialogue" said the discussion did not sanction, promote or glamorize the killing of the cats and noted that Blundell had grown up on a farm in Saskatchewan and was discussing only the practice on the farm, not encouraging others to take similar action.
Two of the adjudicators dissented, considering that Blundell's comments had in fact gone too far and that they considered "that the performance was a perfect example of sanctioning, even glamorizing violence against animals."
In the other case, in a broadcast on May 19 this year, the hosts had an exchange in which they poked fun at the idea that men and women were equal, leading to a complaint about comments that "women should be found doing chores and baking muffins" and then going on to "say that they were kidding, that women are superior to men. They didn't stop there and went on to say that women smell better than men and shave their junk (by saying 'junk' they're referring to a woman's vaginal area) and they proceeded to call women bitches and to call vaginas 'foxholes.'"
The complainant also referred to "comments related to the sexual orientation of 'army broads'. They imagined what they called "A Night in the Foxhole", and make reference to the gun doubling as a (they left out the words 'sexual device' or 'dildo') because they were obviously 'concerned' they might perhaps sound inappropriate, which, given their previous comments, was laughable."
The complainant said that "have sexually harassed women this morning and put women in danger of further sexual harassment. They have helped perpetuate hatred towards females, female soldiers and lesbian females."
The station in response did not deny that the comments were made but said they were all said in jest, tongue firmly planted in cheek" and that it did not believe Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Codes had been breached.
The panel in this case noted that they had to decide was "whether the dialogue has been any of abusive, unduly discriminatory, unduly negatively stereotypical, degrading or otherwise amounting to unduly negative portrayal" and concluded that the attitude of the hosts constituted a frontal assault on all of the foregoing prohibitions.
The attitude of the broadcasters they said was "attitude of the broadcaster's on-air representatives was mocking, demeaning and ridiculing in tone"; AND comments about women "with reference to their "junk", "trenches" and "foxholes" (i.e. genitals), menstruation, associated "bitchiness", nastiness (as in wartime killing capacity), referring to them as "broads" and "army broads", and guffawing all the while" it considered degrading and abusive, exacerbated, moreover, by the mocking, laughing tone of the hosts"
It ruled that four clauses of the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code had been breached.
2012-01-18: Complaints figures for the first and second quarters of 2011 just released by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show an overall increase in the top four reported categories of 27% over the final quarter of 2010 followed by a 4% decrease but with a fall in broadcasting complaints for both quarters compared to the prior period and a year earlier..
In the first quarter the overall total rose from 48,469 to 61,603 but the number of broadcasting complaints was down by 4%, from 3,116 to 2,977: Within the total the majority related to Other Programming Issues - 1527 in all followed by 829 Programming - Indecency/Obscenity complaints: In the first quarter of 2010 there were 177,589 complaints with the broadcasting total reaching 132,416 of which 130,651 or nearly 99% related to "Programming - Indecency/Obscenity" with 127,655 of these made in January 2010.
For the second quarter of last year the overall total was down from 61,603 to 59,080 with broadcasting complaints down from 2,977 to 2,164.
This compares with a total of 69,064 in the second quarter of 2010 of which 25,162 were broadcasting complaints.
Other Programming Issues as in the first quarter amounted for most complaints - 1026 of the total followed by 617 Programming - Indecency/Obscenity complaints (compared to 23,472 of the year-earlier total of which 22,710 were made in May).
As usual the FCC does not give further details of the complaints, making it impossible to evaluate even within the reduce numbers how large a percentage came from organized complaints about particular broadcasts.
Previous FCC complaints figures (To final quarter of 2010):
2012-01-18: Although broadcasters did far better than print media, recording increases, local media companies' stocks were particularly hit by the weakness of the US economy last year with only political and digital revenues as bright spots according to the latest version of BIA/Kelsey's Local Media Index (LMI) just released..
The index the local media sector, which has a market capitalization of USD 2.2 trillion, and it showed stock in local media companies down 18.7% on the year: This compares with an overall rise for US stocks, a 5.6% fall for the UK FTSE 100 and falls of 17% in France and 16% in Germany, where fears related to the Euro crisis hit prices.
BIA/Kelsey notes that particular sectors such as Yellow Pages - down 77.5% and newspapers- down 27.8% brought down the LMI, with those sectors' indices dropping by 77.5% and 27.8%, brought down the index.
It also noted increases for online advertising and search (8.0%), diversified media (7.8%), broadcast television (6.1%) and radio (2.1%).BIA/Kelsey concludes that there is a "secular [long-term] shift toward growth in digital revenues as an increasing component of a fairly flat local advertising economy."
Vice President Mark Fratrik commented in a release, "BIA/Kelsey's Local Media Index is showing the values of local media companies can be more volatile to the perceptions about the future of the economy and local ad spending than the S&P itself, a fact that would not reveal itself through other indices."
"Last year's poor performance of the LMI," he continued, "was caused by deep concerns over the health of the global economy in Q3 and the belief that businesses would severely cut back on their advertising spending. While the last quarter of 2011 saw a rebound in media stocks, the drop-off had been too significant to overcome."
2012-01-18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed a USD 1,500 penalty on a Florida low-power broadcaster for operating with an uncertified transmitter that had caused interference to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Air Traffic Control frequency.
It had originally issued a USD 12,000 NAL (Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture) to Power Ministries, licensee of WRLE-LP, Dunnellon, in September last year (See RNW Sep 7, 2011) to which Power responded by requesting a reduction on financial grounds.
The FCC after examining documentation that was provided agreed that a reduction was justified and trimmed the penalty to USD 1,500.
2012-01-17: Clear Channel has announced the appointment of former CBS and Viacom executive John Sykes as President, Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises: In his new role it says he will use the company's assets to "develop new businesses for the company across a range of media, including television and live events, as well as create value for Clear Channel advertisers and key partners. ."
Sykes will report to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman and the company says his new group will work closely with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan and his team as well as Clear Channel Outdoor, both in the United States and internationally.
Sykes career includes spells as President of VH1, President of Network Development for MTV Networks, CEO of Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio), President of Champion Entertainment, President of Chrysalis Records and as an agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Since 2008 he has been affiliated with the Pilot Group, a private equity and venture firm, since 2008and worked on the restructuring of MGM studios as well as digital properties including Playlist.com and Shazam Mobile, where he serves as a board member. He joined Clear Channel in a consultant role in early 2011 and worked on a number of projects, including assisting the National Programming Platforms team that created the record-setting iHeartRadio Music Festival, the company's first-ever national live music event, featuring 21 industry-leading performers, streamed live to millions on the web and televised on VH1.
Commenting on the appointment Pittman said in a release, "John's experience and relationships in so many sectors of the entertainment and media business make him the perfect choice to lead this new initiative.
Pittman continued, "He has one of the most diverse entertainment careers - from being on the original team that created MTV to re-launching VH1, managing major music artists, running a significant radio group and even being a Hollywood agent - as well as a track record of working with talent and entertainment properties in innovative new ways. In this role, he's perfectly positioned to create new assets and increased value for our advertisers and strategic partners, using both our unparalleled reach and the creativity of our people at the local, national and international levels."
Sykes responded, "Clear Channel has a unique relationship with our audiences, who have a deep loyalty to our brands and trust us to bring them innovative and creative media and entertainment experiences. I'm looking forward to working with the impressive teams across the company to tap Clear Channel's unique marketing and promotional capabilities across a variety of media and platforms to serve our consumers, the music industry, advertisers and our key strategic partners in additional and meaningful ways."
Previous Clear Channel:
2012-01-17: CBS Radio, which had announced earlier that its All News 99.1 WNEW in Washington DC would launch tomorrow at 0500 has quietly delayed the launch until next Monday, Jan 23.
The change of date is buried in a change to an earlier announcement announcing details of the team hired for the news station (See RNW Jan 4).
The DCRTV.com website notes that Paul Farhi of the Washington Post tweeted that the delay was due to "engineering issues" and says that the station confirmed this.
2012-01-16: The Kyle and Jackie O Show (Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O'Neil Henderson), Southern Cross Austereo's Sydney top-rated FM breakfast show returned to air today with its ratings expected to hold up but not the income as yet another major advertiser pulled out following a campaign against Sandilands over his reaction to a report by News.com.au's Alison Stephenson on the poor response to his TV show.
Sandlilands called Stephenson a "fat bitter thing", a "fat slag" and a "little troll" and around 33,000 people have so far signed a petition calling for advertisers to drop the show and for Southern Cross Austereo to fire Sandilands.
The latest advertiser to withdraw support is weight loss company Jenny Craig: Craig had said it would take over as main sponsor for the show from automaker Holden which had pulled out along with GIO Australia Insurance, Telstra, Harvey Norman, Fantastic Furniture, Blackmores, Crazy John's, Vodafone, Medibank, the Good Guys, Toys R Us, Qantas and Mitsubishi.
Announcing its decision Jenny Craig, which had said in a statement that it did not "sit in judgement over controversial matters and we accept it when people apologise for their actions" on its Facebook page, "One thing about Jenny Craig is that we listen."We badly misjudged public perception of Kyle Sandilands.
"We feel sorry we have offended so many people. We have instructed 2DAY FM that our advertising is to be discontinued on the Kyle & Jackie O Show, and the rest of their schedule immediately."
Reactions on the Facebook page to the decision were largely in favour and critical of Sandilands
Southern Cross Austereo has so far continued to support the team and seems set to continue that support: A statement from its chief executive Rhys Holleran said, "As a business Southern Cross Austereo constantly strives to deliver attractive products for Australians. We are confident the Kyle and Jackie O Show has been positively re-set for 2012 and our teams are committed to ensuring it is both entertaining for listeners and provides an advertiser friendly environment."
SO far the host has not made any public comment - the Melbourne Herald Sun, however, quoted co-host Jackie O as earlier telling its sister paper the Sunday Telegraph that she and her co-host had moved on from the scandal, saying, "Yes, we're moving on, we've put it behind us. I'm looking forward to getting back on air."
Sandilands' manager Andrew Hawkins it reported said his client had issued a blanket ban on media interviews ahead of his return to radio this week.
The paper also quoted hosts of rival DMG Radio Asutralia's Nova Sydney breakfast show Fitzy & Wippa (Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael Wipfli), as saying that they thought rather than harm their rival's ratings advantage, the latest scandal would propel Sandilands' show into even further success.
"It's actually made the show stronger in the past," Fitzgerald said, referring to the controversy surrounding Sandilands' interview of a 14-year-old rape victim in 2009.
Nova would not comment on whether it had benefited with business from advertisers who had dropped the show with estimates of the amount of business lost to Austereo running around AUD 8 million ( USD 8.3 million).
RNW Comment: As theFacebook reactions to the Jenny Craig announcement indicate, this is hardly the worst incident involving Sandilands but it appears to have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back as far as many Australians are concerned.
We suspect that as long as ratings hold up, Austereo will keep the show and there will be a drift back of advertisers although Sandilands may well feel inhibited about what he can say.
In more general terms, the Internet has made it much easier to whip up outrage on many issues, allowing the thin-skinned to exert a disproportionate "chilling effect" ( to use the US Supreme Court's term) on speech.
We rather think it is about time for organizations in general to work on general policies regarding such issues and post their policy and the general principles on which they will judge such protest. Initially it might arouse some adverse comment but in the longer term it would be a useful bulwark against mass email and other campaigns by various groups.
Previous Kyle and Jackie O:
Previous Southern Cross Austereo
Jennie Craig Facebook page:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2012-01-16: A service is to be held tomorrow evening for long-time Louisville, Kentucky, host Bill Bailey - William Boahn - who died aged 81 on Saturday.
Bailey was born in New Bern, NC, and became known as the "Duke of Louisville" during his long career as a disc jockey at various stations in the 1960s and 70s. He retired in 1994 following a period as afternoon host at WVLK in Lexington.
Bailey hosted mornings at WKLO-AM from 1995 and later moved over to its top 40 rival WAKY-AM, now owned by Clear Channel. He also worked for a period at WLS-AM in Chicago on mornings.
Bailey had suffered a stroke in 2003 and had lived after that in the Friendship Manor Nursing Home according to WK.Y,com, which has posted an obituary and tribute page.
The service will be held from 1800 at the Pearson-Ratterman Brothers Funeral Home in Middletown.
Facebook - Bill Bailey page:
WAKY-com Tribute page:
2012-01-15: Last week was fairly quiet for all the regulators with no major radio postings from any although all of them were back in action apart from Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made only one radio postings, a ruling that Bundy FM Community Radio Association Inc's community station 4BCR, Bundaberg, Queensland, breached the country's community radio codes relating to financial membership, internal conflict resolution and complaints handling and has also aired an advert (See RNW Jan 10).
Canada was only a little busier with radio-related postings from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) including one new licence approval in Alberta: This was of an application from Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a licence for an 11,000 watts Classic Hits/Classic Rock music format English-language commercial FM in Fort Saskatchewan.
In its application, Golden West indicated that it would accept a condition of licence requiring it to devote 40% of its musical selections from content category 2 (Popular music) during the broadcast week and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday to Canadian selections and it also committed, itself to contribute CAD 93,500 (USD 91,500) over and above the basic contributions to Canadian content development (CCD) over seven years.
The application was opposed by one individual and three broadcasters - Newcap, Rogers and Astral - who expressed concern about the impact of the proposed service on the Edmonton market. In addition 1572422 Alberta Ltd. requested the application be set aside in order to allow it to submit a competing application for a new undertaking in Fort Saskatchewan/Lamont.
Rogers argued that Fort Saskatchewan could not support a local radio service and that revenues would be drawn from Edmonton in order to survive and Newcap stated that the proposed mixed Classic Rock/Classic Hits format would be directly competitive with its stations as well as other stations in the market.
Golden West in response argued that its application is not a back-door entry into the Edmonton market and its focus is to serve Fort Saskatchewan, that Fort Saskatchewan is capable of supporting its own local radio station and that its proposed station would not impact the broader Edmonton market.
The CRTC has imposed a licence condition preventing the licensee from soliciting advertising in the city of Edmonton as identified by Statistics Canada but approved the application.
The CRTC also posted a public notice with a Feb 14 deadline for interventions, comments, or answers, regarding an application by Bell Media Calgary Radio Partnership requesting deletion from the licence of CKCE-FM, Calgary, of detailed conditions relating to the contribution of an annual minimum of CAD 640,000 (USD 626,000) to the development and promotion of Canadian talent. The licensee does not wish to change the amount but says it wants more flexibility regarding allocation of the funding.
The CRTC also notes that the licensee may have failed to comply with its conditions of licence relating to its contributions to certain CTD and CCD initiatives for the 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010 broadcast years.
There were no postings from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom has posted its latest Broadcast Bulletin in which it partly upheld a radio fairness and privacy complaint (See RNW Jan 10)
In the US, the main radio-related posting from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was of its Fifth Report & Order relating to the Emergency Alert System, a 130-page PDF.
Amongst the main points in the document are the elimination of a requirement to receive and transmit CAP-formatted messages initiated by state governors.
The order also requires stations to be able to convert CAP-formatted EAS messages into messages that comply with the EAS Protocol requirements, allowing the use of what it terms "intermediary devices to meet their CAP-related obligations."
The report notes that in "emergencies that result in outages of power, cellular telephone service, or Internet connectivity, IP-based services like CAP-based alerting systems may not be available, and the broadcast-based legacy EAS maybe the only reliable means of disseminating emergency alerts to the public, because messages can be received on battery-powered radios and televisions."
The transitional approach of phasing in CAP capabilities it comments will provide substantial benefits in the form of making the EAS more efficient, reliable and informative, improvements that may save lives, protect health, and preserve property."
The FCC has also issued on its own initiative yet another extension of time for Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Calvary, Inc.; Bonneville International Corp.; Scranton Times LP; and Morris Communications to file amendments to pending waiver requests or renewal applications or to file requests for permanent waivers of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.
Previous extensions were on an interim basis while awaiting decisions regarding court challenges but the agency has now opted to extend the deadline "until either (1) 90 days after a denial by the Supreme Court of all of the pending petitions for a writ of certiorari or (2) in the event that the Supreme Court grants certiorari in any of those cases, 90 days after a final judgment that (a) is not subject to further judicial review or appeal and (b) disposes of the pending judicial challenges to the Commission's modified newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule."
Previous Licence News:
FCC EAS 5th report and order (698 kb 130-page PDF):
2012-01-14: A drink driving charge against Merlin Media Chairman and CEO and former Tribune Co CEO Randy Michaels has been dropped by the prosecutor because police had not filed the charge properly.
Michaels who was arrested in October in Middletown, Ohio, after police saw his car stuck in mud on a construction site had refused to take a breathalyser test at the time (See RNW Oct 14, 2011) and was initially reported to have been charged under his given name Benjamin Homel with operating a vehicle whilst impaired and driving on a closed street.
He entered a guilty plea to the second offence and was fined USD 30 plus court costs.
The Cincinnati Business Courier quotes Michael's lawyer Steve Adams as saying that police properly listed a misdemeanour charge of driving on a closed road, but the operating a vehicle impaired charge was not documented and as the citation could not be modified after 90 days Michaels could not be convicted.
Adams added, "The charge wasn't dismissed. Technically, he was never charged" and went on to insist that his client was "not impaired" and would have beaten the charge even if it had been properly filed.
Cincinnati Business Courier report:
2012-01-14: An email from Entercom President and CEO David J.Field to employees about his eight-day safari trip to Kenya and Tanzania has stirred up mixed reactions from readers of the Boston Herald, which headlined its report "Entercom radio chief's clueless email."
In the email, posted by the paper in full, Field comments of the family safari - taken to celebrate his mother-in-law's 80th birthday - that he "found myself comparing the wild kingdom of Africa with our modern American society."
Field who had previously commented in the email about the experience stripping away the "niceties "of "our modern, 'civilized' world" with only harsh "Darwinian laws of nature applying, goes on to comment, "In the bush, young animals learn quickly that they are fully accountable for their own survival."
He then goes on, "In contrast, our kids are raised in a world of Little League Baseball and other sports where trophies are given out for mere participation. If their team loses every single game, they still get a trophy ..just for showing up. As adults, we have been conditioned by an army of trial lawyers that accidents are never our own fault, but rather an opportunity to be compensated by others who are "truly" to blame. And we have been conditioned by society to expect immediate gratification in life, undermining the principles of hard work, personal accountability and striving for excellence."
Field then quotes former Alabama football coach Bear Bryant as saying, "It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference" and also a culture at "Apple (Apple compuers) , like the African bush, where everyone is driven to perform at their very best every day with zero tolerance for weakness or mediocrity."
He then speaks of options with some people becoming complacent; others playing the victim; and yet others who will "attack 2012 with fresh zeal and capitalize on the opportunity to start anew and have a fantastic year."
He ends by saying that the trip put "everything in perspective. I need to raise my game and take the initiative to identify key areas for personal improvement that will tangibly enhance my performance" and exhorts his staff "to do the same. Take a moment to step back and reflect. How do you raise your game and ensure that 2012 is a successful year for you professionally?..." and ends up by saying the animals have no choice " they bring their "A" games to work every day. We are both blessed and cursed by our modern world which enables us to have the choice of striving to be our very best or becoming complacent. But remember, life is short and there are no trophies for participation. The choice is entirely up to you."
Reactions from the paper's readers very from those supportive of Field -- "I don't see how this is anything but a motivational letter. No, many employees will not be able to go on a safari. That's part of his point. To the victor goes the spoils, not to "all who show up" is divided the spoils. Is his point completely wasted on his employees? Perhaps that's why you have so many layoffs. Dead weight, it will slow down a troop of chimps and it will slow down the radio station too" to those expressing negative opinions of Field - "Guess DJF thinks he's the Alpha male. Was Fields beating his chest and hurling his own faeces as he wrote it?" and a personal reaction from someone who comments of hundreds of fellow employees being dismissed and having had to forego rises and a promotion before commenting, "if my CEO sent an e-mail like that I'd be pretty pissed A) that he had the gall to take a long expensive trip AND B) that he told everyone in a mass e-mail intended to get us to work harder."
RNW comment: We assume that if Field becomes ill he will accept that like the alpha male in the herd the natural course of events will be to savage him. And of course, as he'd obviously of no use to the company that it would be quite fair as actually killing him is illegal to forego his pension and other rights and subside into a miserable old age. Or maybe there's something positive about the so-called "civilized" bits of a society when it comes to reasonable treatment those - the majority - who for whatever reason can't reach the heights even if they are doing their best.
And of course in the wild there is no way of leaving property to progeny. Maybe a few caveats would have improved the email?
Boston Herald report:
2012-01-13: Although radio remains the core of its business, Clear Channel is dropping the word to rebrand its Clear Channel Radio as Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, a brand that it said it its announcement "Reflects Company's Focus on Delivering the Best Entertainment and Most Important Content to Diverse Audiences across Multiple Platforms, Including Broadcast, Satellite, Online and Mobile."
The new names says the company better reflects "the evolution of its business" and CEO Bob Pittman, whose past career includes TV and holding the roles of President and CEO at AOL; COO of AOL-Time Warner, and Chairman Of Media And Entertainment Platforms at Clear Channel, comments in the announcement, "Over the last few years, I've watched as Clear Channel Radio has pushed beyond the traditional boundaries of radio to reach more Americans every month than any other media company through an unmatched combination of broadcast, satellite, online and mobile assets."
He continued, "Under John Hogan's continued strong leadership, the new Clear Channel Media and Entertainment brand underscores that we are taking our brands and content wherever our listeners expect to find it. And, in the future, as new places emerge where people want to access our powerful brands and content, we'll be there, too."
Hogan added, "Radio is both our history and the foundation upon which we will grow our company moving forward. That will not change. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment represents our evolution as we prove our relationship with our listeners is so much more than just our transmitters and towers. We will continue to serve our increasingly diverse audiences and local communities with the best content - music, news, emergency information, and public service -- wherever they expect it, while supporting advertisers, strategic partners, music labels and artists with creative, multi-platform marketing opportunities that reach, activate and engage target audiences like no one else."
The rebranded division will include the company's Premiere Radio Networks; Total Traffic Network; Katz Media Group; and RCS, which provides scheduling and broadcast software for radio, Internet and television station in addition to research that aids the media and music businesses.
Previous Clear Channel:
2012-01-13: BBC Radio 3 has announced that it is to broadcast the first performance of an "unknown" Brahms composition in its Music Matters programme hosted by Tom Service (1215-1300 GMT) next Saturday.
The piece - Albumblatt- was written in 1853 when Brahms was 20 and lasts two minutes: It was found by conductor and musicologist Christopher Hogwood as he looked through a music collection in the United States.
The BBC recorded it with the Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff and, in what will be a global premiere, will broadcast Albumblatt as part of an interview with Christopher Hogwood about the discovery in advance of it being published in February by Barenreiter.
The BBC says the work features the same theme as that in the Trio section of the 2nd movement of Brahms' Horn Trio op.40 adding that Hogwood, who has edited a forthcoming new edition of the Horn Trio op.40, says the piano piece precedes the Horn Trio by 12 years.
Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright, commented, "As the home of classical music, BBC Radio 3 is honoured to be the first to broadcast this rare work. I know that our millions of listeners will enjoy this exclusive premiere. Albumblatt is an incredible discovery which gives a fascinating insight into the workings of this great composer."
Following the premiere on Radio 3 on the 21st January at 12:15pm, a behind-the-scenes video of the recording will be available on the Radio 3 website after the programme has aired.
Radio 3 has also announced that this year its Choral Evensong programme (broadcast Wednesdays at 1530 local) will air eleven new commissions from the Choirbook For The Queen: The Choirbook is a collection of anthems for Her Majesty's Jubilee Year and was born out of an idea from Robert Ponsonby and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies nearly a decade ago.
It contains 44 anthems, including the eleven anthems specially commissioned for the Choirbook by The Choirbook Trust and Choral Evensong producer Stephen Shipley commented, "We're delighted to be broadcasting all of the new commissions featured in the Choirbook For The Queen in the context of worship on Radio 3's long running Choral Evensong strand. It's an exciting prospect that the premiere of each of the eleven new compositions will be transmitted live. Listeners will be able to hear the pieces as they are being sung by some of the UK's finest cathedral choirs across the country for the first time."
Wright added, "Radio 3's commitment to live music and new work is as strong as ever and this innovative Choirbook project is another example of the station's distinctive programming. Choral Evensong is a much loved part of the Radio 3 schedule and I am thrilled that our listeners will get the chance to hear these new pieces as they are given their first performances."
Compositions will air from Feb 8 to Dec 5 and include work by Judith Bingham; Alexander Goehr; Francis Grier; Julian Philips; Michael Finnissy; David Sawer; Nigel Osborne; Roxanna Panufnik; Diana Burrell and Peter Maxwell Davies.
2012-01-13: Emmis has reported fiscal third quarter net revenues to the end of last November of USD 59.32 million, down 11.8% on a year earlier within which radio revenues were down 16.8% at USD 39.78 million and publishing was up 5.3% to USD 19.53 million. Emmis put the fall in radio revenues down primarily to "the July 15, 2011 commencement of a Local Marketing Agreement related to WRXP-FM in New York, WKQX-FM in Chicago and WLUP-FM in Chicago (the Merlin Stations) and the ultimate sale of a controlling interest in these stations on September 1, 2011 for USD 130 million."
Operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization expenses were down 4.9% for radio at USD 31.03 million but up 1.7% for publishing at USD 16.87 million and operating income was down from USD 11.49 million to USD 4.69 million and net income- boosted by USD 31.81 million from the sale of Emmis's controlling interest in Merlin Media; an income tax benefit of USD 27.48 million; and a gain of USD 55.84 million on the extinguishment of preferred stock - rose from USD 2.06 million to UAS 58.70 million with net income attributable to the company was up from USD 772,000 to USD 57.63 million.
Net income attributable to common basic shareholders moved from a loss of USD 1.67 million a year earlier to USD 110.87 million - from a loss of USD 1.67 million to income of USD 111.56 million for diluted shares (from a loss of four cents to income of USD 2.90 per basic common share and from a loss of four cents to income of USD 2.49 per diluted share.)
For the first nine months net revenues were down 4.41% to USD 185.09 million within which radio was down 6.25% to USD 135.18 million and publishing was up 0.58% to USD 49.91 million.
Net income attributable to the Company moved from a loss of USD 695,000 in 2010 to income of 49.57 million and Net income attributable to common shareholders moved from a loss of USD 7.92 million to income of USD 97.72 million - from a loss of USD 7.92 million to income of UD 105.41 million for diluted shares (from a loss of 21 cents to income of USD 2.56 per basic share and from a loss of 21 cents to income of USD 2.29 per diluted share).
2012-01-12: The BBC's Director of Audio and Music, Tim Davie, has flown the colours for adding video to radio in speech at the Redefining Radio event organized today at the British Houses of Parliament by Absolute Radio - which is to pose video of each speaker tomorrow.
Davie told the event that it was a "real priority" to establish radio on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets and offer creative visual content to attract younger listeners.
Davie, who said he was a fan of pure audio, commented, "With some regret we are moving to a screen world. Radio needs to accept that and get on with it and enjoy it.
"I'm a big fan of pure audio and I have always felt that audio will hold up for a long time but in terms of the devices, it will have a screen on it . We need to be on more smartphone devices. If I have one challenge for the industry, it is to get on devices. We need to be distributed on iPhones and all the various platforms. That is the real priority."
Davie went on to say that the information to be put on screens was the real issue and warned against just using technology such as webcams, saying, "Radio needs to be careful that you don't just visualise everything and chuck up video everywhere. Our power has always been about the curating and the editing, rather than just showing stuff on a webcam."
The medium also attracted positive comments from Culture Minister Ed Vaizey who said radio was no longer "dusty box that sits in the corner of the kitchen" and went on to add, "Video has not killed the radio star, and technology has not killed the radio star. Video and technology will enhance the radio star."
He also said great progress was being made towards a switchover to digital radio but declined comment on when agreement might be reached between the BBC and commercial radio who will fund the rollout of extra coverage of DAB, a pre-requisite for any switchover.
RNW comment: Although possessing five DAB radios of varying quality, we remain sceptical of the degree to which the public will welcome any switchover and indeed suspect that it may harm radio more than any single move that could be made in the near future through annoying people by forcing them to throw away perfectly good working equipment to get what in some cases will deliver worse quality audio. Annoying your potential audience has never seemed to us a good way to attract it and we remain convinced that there should be no switchover until truly universal (and portable) multi-standard receivers are available to enable those who travel to get the same service they do now.
As to screens - we rarely bother looking at what is on our DAB screens apart from when tuning; find enough young twerps too engrossed in their screens to be aware of their surroundings for their safety, and really can't see why that many of them will bother with the visual information for long as opposed to running to a station and then putting the portable device into a pocket whilst listening on headphones - or use it for other things whilst doing the listening.
We suspect both Davie and Vaizey are going along with fashionable comment - and face saving for those who moved into DAB - rather than really thinking through what is being planned.
Previous Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (Ultimate parent of Absolute Radio):
Absolute Radio -Redefining Radio page:
2012-01-12: Australia's metropolitan radio advertising revenue last year was up by 1.1% on 2010 to a total of AUD 682.73 million (USD 702.94 million) , according to figures released today by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia, which termed 2011 a "solid" year.
Figures from the 2011 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue, as sourced by Deloitte showed a rise in all five metropolitan markets with the largest percentage rise - of 3.06% to AUD 64.77 million (USD 66.68 million) recorded in Adelaide.
This was followed by Perth - up 2.38% to a total of AUD 91.31 million (USD 94.02 million); Melbourne - up 0.74% to AUD 204.77 million (USD 210.83 million); Brisbane - up 0.69% to AUD 109.58 million (USD 112.83 million); and Sydney - up 0.54% to a total of AUD 212.29 million (USD 218.58 million).
December revenues were up 0.49% to an overall total for the five markets of AUD 53.49 million (USD 55.07 million) but the total fell for the second half of the year by 0.33% to AUD 352.63 million (USD 363.07 million) whilst
Commercial Radio Australia Chief executive officer Joan Warner said of the performance, "The industry has worked hard in what is a very competitive marketplace to maintain growth and keep radio top of mind with advertisers over the past twelve months" and added "The industry must continue its focus in 2012 on promoting radio as an extremely effective and efficient advertising medium."
Ratings figures also showed that nearly 80% of all Australians listened to commercial radio in an average week during 2011 with an average metropolitan cumulative audience of 9.29 million people each week: On average Australians spent more than 16 hours per week listening to commercial radio during 2011- or 2hrs and 17 minutes per day- with breakfast getting the largest audience.
Of the listening around 48% took place at home, 34% in the car and around 16% at work.
Previous Australian radio revenues (November):
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2012-01-11: The London-based Audioboo website and mobile applications company that allows users to post and share audio files has announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it has reached agreement with RadioPlayer - founded by the BBC, Global Radio, Guardian Media Group, Absolute Radio and RadioCentre - to add a Listen-again feature that will allow radio stations to make their material available.Audioboo blog:
The tie- up will be of most use to smaller local stations as most of the larger ones already use the RadioPlayer service that makes it easy to find and listen to UK radio stations.
Audioboo has up to know been best known as a social media site that lets users record and post their own short audios and the new tie-up will give stations a means whereby listeners can record and provide their own audio.
A posting on the Audioboo blog says that the deal will enable radio stations that hold Audioboo Pro accounts to make selected boos available in a specially-adapted version of their RadioPlayer console. This will provide an on-demand 'listen again' service for audiences and give radio stations a new channel for syndicating gems of content that may otherwise get lost.
It goes on to add that stations can easily select and moderate the clips they want to share, and boos will also be integrated into Radioplayer's centralised search functionality. This means a listener searching for the latest Christian O'Connell show will also see the latest Audioboo content related to the programme.
Audioboo was launched in March 2009 as a simple way of recording audio while on the move and adding as much useful data to it as possible, such as photos, tags and location.
2012-01-11: Former Washington radio host Bill Trumbull, for two decades from 1976-96 the co-host of the "Trumbull and Core" afternoon drive programme on WMAL, has died aged 77.WMAL report:
WMAL in its report on his death notes that Trumbull, who was born in Massachusetts, was hired by WMAL as a staff radio and TV announcer in 1960 after he had moved to DC as a master of ceremonies for the US Army Band at Fort Myer in Arlington.
It quotes him as commenting in a 2008 interview about a disastrous start after he was assigned to the TV booth and plunged into doing the sports: He dropped "sheets of paper with the baseball" and picked them up in the wrong order - "I had pitchers hitting home runs, and I had batters pitching three-hitters, and things like that, and it was a total total mess. The next day, the sponsor, Arrow Chevrolet, cancelled to make sure I would never do that again."
Trumbull held on to his job and in 1968 was given his own afternoon show on WMAL in 1968 and then teamed up with long-time WMAL newsman Ed Meyer, and later with Chris Core (Core remained with WMAL until he was fired by its then parent Citadel in 2008 after some 33 years with the station. He is now a commentator on WTOP).
Trumbull also commented on the competition from the two other big stations of the time - WTOP-AM and WRC-AM, saying, " we all played pretty much the same music, but I think we had better personalities, and over the years, WMAL had this class feeling about it. I mean, we had Harden and Weaver (the morning team of Frank Harden and Jackson Weaver), and Tom Gauger in the midday, and then we were on, then Felix Grant came on, and then Bill Mayhugh all night long. WMAL was the place to be!"
2012-01-10: Toronto-headquartered Corus Entertainment has reported fiscal first quarter revenues to the end of November last year up 7% on a year earlier at CAD 236.9 million ( USD ) driven by a 10% rise in TV revenues to CAD 185.0 million (USD 182.1 million) whilst radio was down 5% to CAD 51.9 million (USD 51.0 million).
TV segment profit was up marginally from CAD 80.3 million to CAD 80.5 million (USD 80.0 million) whilst that of radio fell by 1% to CAD 16.4 million (USD 16.1 million).
Net income attributable to equity shareholders from continuing operations was up 9% to CAD 50.55 million (USD 49.74 million) with earnings per share up from CAD 0.57 for continuing operations - and CAD 0.59 a year earlier including discontinued operations - to CAD 0.61 and the company says it will increase its annual dividend by 10 per cent (CAD 0.09).
This takes the annual dividend for the Company's Class A and Class B Shares is CAD 0.955 and CAD 0.96 respectively.
Commenting on the performance President and CEO John Cassaday said the performance put Corus on track to achieve growth targets in fiscal 2012, adding that the company was "very pleased with our Q1 results and in particular, the renewed signs of strength we witnessed in the ad economy."
After highlighting double digit ad sales increased for its Women's networks and continued growth on our Kids business he noted of radio "strong evidence of a turnaround underway in our Vancouver Radio cluster."
Executive Chair Heather Shaw added of the dividend increase, "Our outlook for strong free cash flow and continued earnings growth has allowed us to declare a 10% increase in our annual dividend this fiscal year. This increase reflects our commitment to providing value to our shareholders through solid execution of our business initiatives and maintenance of a strong balance sheet."
2012-01-10: UK media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upholds in part a radio fairness and privacy complaint and also fines an adult TV channel GBP 130,000 (USD 201,000); upholds three TV standards complaints and gives details of five TV Fairness and Privacy Complaints not upheld; and posts a table of TV advertising schedule breaches that lists just one case in which the permitted advertising allowance was exceeded.
This compares to no radio complaints upheld in the previous bulletin in which it standards complaints concerning 14 broadcasts against eight TV broadcasters; noted three advertising scheduling breaches plus two cases in which advertising exceeded the allowed minutes and gave details of a TV Fairness and Privacy Complaint not upheld.
The radio complaint upheld in part was made by Chief Fire Officer David Johnson on his own behalf, on behalf of Gordon Hunter, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, and on behalf of the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) about unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in the Soapbox with Chris Hossack programme broadcast by community station Phoenix FM, Brentwood.
The edition of the programme concerned discussed financial cuts that were being made to the Brentwood Fire Service in Essex: Ofcom did not uphold complaints about discussion that was critical of the Fire and Rescue Service and also noted that while "playing the song "Gordon is a Moron" was hurtful to Mr Hunter, it was unlikely to materially affect listeners? opinion of either Mr Hunter or the ECFRS and so, on balance, did not amount to unjust or unfair treatment of either Mr Hunter or the ECFRS."
It did however consider that Johnson had a legitimate expectation of privacy in relation to claims being broadcast concerning his matrimonial circumstances which was not outweighed by the broadcaster?s right to freedom of expression.
Regarding the matrimonial circumstances the station had argued that Johnson's circumstances were relevant to the issue of expenditure by ECFRS on a house which Mr Johnson had to vacate soon after purchasing.
The programme had noted that Johnson had claimed for a total of GBP 34,000 (USD 53,000) in relation to expenses related to his decision to move to Suffolk even though he was promoted from an acting role to chief fire officer and that a local councillor, who was a guest on the programme, continued, "He has now left that house because apparently he has had some matrimonial problems as I understand it, and so just some months or a year or two since moving into that property and billing the tax payer for the move, he?s moved out and sold the house".
In relation to these comments, Ofcom noted that they had been made by the Councillor but said it did not consider that it was in the public interest to reveal Mr Johnson?s alleged matrimonial circumstances, although it noted that Hossack did not go into any further details about the allegations, and moved the discussion away from any comments concerning Mr Johnson?s marriage.
It upheld the part of the complaint related to privacy.
Ofcom also listed a total of 668 complaints against 339 TV items and 32 complaints against 32 radio items that it assessed but did not investigate: This compares with 552 complaints against 301 TV items and 44 complaints against 36 radio items that were assessed but not further investigated in the previous bulletin.
In addition to the above Ofcom also listed nine TV cases where it has commenced investigations during the period from 15 December 2011 to 4 January.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2012-01-10:The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that Bundy FM Community Radio Association Inc's community station 4BCR, Bundaberg, Queensland, breached the country's community radio codes relating to financial membership, internal conflict resolution and complaints handling and has also aired an advert.
The ACMA investigated following a complaint that the licensee had ignored the complainant's requests for copies of policies relating to members, administrative matters and dismissals and appeals and refused to let him have a copy of a booklet it used to have that set out presenters' guidelines and responsibilities.
The licensee in its response pointed out that the complainant had held various managerial roles at 4BCR between 2000 and 2009 but was then voted out at its 2009 AGM. It added that no documents were passed on to the new management and that its requests for such documentation were ignored.
This, it said, made it difficult to answer many of the ACMA questions and it added that it had not recognised the complainant's letter as a complaint but interpreted it as a request for administrative documents.
The complainant had also said that the station aired announcements that did not have sponsorship tags and the licensee said that after listening it had realised that "that one of the sponsorships did not include a tag acknowledging sponsorship of the station."
The ACMA noted the responses but concluded that various codes had been breached. It rejected complaints relating to encouraging participation in management and programming and encouraging community participation in the operations of the service and also one concerning the investigation of complaints.
2012-01-09: Birmingham commercial radio station BRMB, the first commercial station in England outside London and the fourth in the UK - after Capital Radio, LBC, and Radio Clyde, is to be re-branded "Free Radio Birmingham" from March, losing a brand that has been going for 38 years.
The move is being made by Orion Media, which acquired the station and others that had to be disposed of to allow the takeover of GCap by Global Radio (See RNW May 22, 2009)
Also switching to the new name are Mercia - to become Free Radio Coventry and Warwickshire - and Beacon - to become Free Radio Shropshire & Black Country: In all the latest radio ratings showed the four stations with a combined weekly reach of 889,000 within which BRMB was the largest with 359,000.
Orion is not re-branding its other two stations - Gem 106 in the east Midlands and the Gold AM station in the west Midlands.
The Sunday Mercury quotes Orion Chief Executive Phil Riley as saying of the move, "It took us some time to get our heads around the enormity of losing that heritage but we're doing it for the right reasons.
"The reasons are to be a bigger, better collection of local radio stations. People are excited about the prospect and what we're not doing is axing loads of jobs or closing something down.
"We're going to give our stations a common name so we can promote them effectively."
Riley told staff that the change would not mean job changes and commented of the station's heritage, "I started at BRMB on September 1, 1980. I know many people are fondly attached to the name but none more than I am. Even I recognise we have to move on."
The name change has aroused opposition with a Facebook group set up to oppose it.
Facebook -campaign against change:
Sunday Mercury report:
2012-01-09: Clear Channel has announced that Greater Media's 22 stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets are to be available on its iHeartRadio digital radio platform in the latest expansion of the brand, which already has a deal to offer Cumulus's stations and in return promote Cumulus's SweetJack deals platform (See RNW Dec 5, 2011).
The agreement with Greater Media takes effect from April this year and Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan said of the agreement in a release, "Adding Greater Media to iHeartRadio only improves our leading digital destination for consumers, expanding their ability to find the best and most complete online radio experience anywhere. Clear Channel Radio and Greater Media understand that radio connects local businesses to consumers like no other medium can, and this agreement offers more choices for our listeners which is what they want."
Greater Media Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter H. Smyth added, "We are thrilled to be able to provide our listeners with even greater access to our stations, anywhere they may be listening throughout the country, with this exciting platform."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Greater Media:
2012-01-08: Although the regulators were back in their offices this week, many still seemed imbued with holiday spirit and there were few postings in general and as regards radio none at all from the UK and Ireland.ACMA website:
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made no specifically radio postings but it did feel excised enough about some reports on its updated Privacy Guidelines for Broadcasters 2011 - posted just before Christmas - to seek to "to correct inaccurate media reporting" on them.
The actual guidelines run 18 pages and include enhanced guidance for broadcasters on how the broadcasting codes protect the privacy of Australians, whether or not in a public place and privacy in relation to consent, children, public figures, material in the public domain and public interest: They give details of general principles, details of the steps followed in "determining a breach of the code privacy provisions" and also eight case studies relating to various cases that have been considered by the agency or its predecessor The Australian Broadcasting Authority.
Of these three were where breached were found to have been committed by commercial TV; three more commercial TV cases where there was no breach; one commercial TV case where no finding was made; and one commercial radio (talkback) case that was upheld.
Releasing the update ACMA chairman Chris Chapman had said that the aim of the release was to "to further increase awareness of code privacy obligations developed by industry in broadcasting codes of practice and to assist broadcasters to better understand these obligations" and added that "Research findings show that the ACMA's approach to the privacy protections in the broadcasting codes is very much in step with community attitudes.."
In relation to reports on the Guidelines Chapman commented, "Some media outlets have claimed that the guidelines are imposing new privacy restrictions on the electronic media. This is simply not the case. The regulation of broadcasting content in Australia is largely set out in codes of practice developed by the television and radio industries themselves."
"Privacy protections," he continued "have long been embedded in these codes of practice. The ACMA's revised guidelines do not, and indeed cannot, of themselves create new obligations, and are only intended to assist licensees to comply with their own codes. "
In terms of specifics he added, "In fact, the guidelines make no specific mention of asylum seekers, as claimed, nor do they create a new protection, namely that of seclusion."
As to how the reports arose the ACMA noted that "Much has been made in the media of the submission by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on the draft guidelines" but then added "the ACMA carefully considered all 15 submissions received and drafting refinements were made as a consequence, on the issue of seclusion it simply re-affirmed its original approach in the final guidelines. Claims that the ACMA has lacked appropriate independence from government are without basis."
RNW note: When we read the Guidelines just before Christmas they appeared unexceptionable and we did not include a report of the release in our regular licence news as we could not see then- any more than we can now -that they did anything mother than give guidance through case studies, all of which were in the public domain.
To use submissions made - as opposed to the guidance given - to attack the ACMA seems to us very sloppy journalism - either stupid people or propaganda for some proprietors. Any criticism should have been directed to the Government department concerned not - compounded by misinformation - to the ACMA.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) made only one radio posting, an approval of an application from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to increase the effective radiated power of its transmitter CBK-FM-4, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, from 4,710 to 10,740 watts.
As already noted there were no radio postings from the UK and Ireland but in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was a little busier with postings including details of the numbers of licensed broadcast stations at the end of 2011-numbers that fell compared to the previous figures and a year earlier (See RNW Jan 7)
The agency also posted a 106-page (including appendices) report on the Economic Impact of Low-Power FM Stations on Commercial FM Radio.
The agency was required to submit such a report to Congress by January 4 this year and in essence the FCC says its study shows that "on the whole, LPFM stations do not currently have, and in the future are unlikely to have, a demonstrable economic impact on full-service commercial FM radio stations."
The LPFM service notes the report was created in 2,000 to "enhance locally focused community-oriented radio broadcasting" in order to serve "very localized communities or underrepresented groups within communities."
It subsequently had to reduce the scope of its plans when lobbying by broadcasters led to the imposition by Congress of a third-adjacent channel distance separation requirement, despite an FCC Commissioned study (The "Mitre Report") concluding that the separation could be eliminated without creating an interference risk to full-service stations (See RNW Oct 18, 2003).
The Commission in 2005 in a Second Reconsideration Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking re-examined some of the rules governing the LPFM service, noting that the rules might need adjustment in light of the experiences of LPFM applicants and licensees and in 2007 it adopted a Third Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in which among other this it reinstated its initial rule that LPFM licensees may not own more than one station, thereby reversing its phased-in approach that had allowed multiple ownership of LPFM stations beginning two years after the first LPFM filing window, and also reinstated its rule that LPFM licensees must be locally based.
Regarding the economic analysis the FCC agrees that it has limited ability to assess the economic effects of stations not yet in existence but continues, "We believe that the regulatory restrictions imposed upon LPFM stations, such as 100 watt maximum power levels and non-commercial operating status, will continue to constrain their ability to have a significant economic impact on full-service commercial FM stations after the implementation of the LCRA. In addition, we believe that the current low levels of LPFM listenership in comparison to full-service commercial FM listenership as well as the limited amounts of underwriting on most LPFM stations indicate that their economic impact on full-service commercial stations will continue to be small in the future."
It notes different views concerning assessment of the impact on the audience ratings of commercial stations - the NAB is in favour but various others queried the value of this exercise in view of other potential impacts on ratings - and also on the potential indirect impact on advertising revenues (LPFMs may not carry advertising) because sponsors might potentially reduce advertising because of their sponsorship funding: In relation to this the Prometheus Foundation said its survey showed that the "underwriting revenues of the LPFM service as a whole would total USD 7,284,615, which would represent only 0.0005 percent of the USD 15 billion in revenue for U.S. commercial radio in 2010.
The FCC says its study showed that LPFM stations tend to be located in small markets and rural areas; have a median population coverage area a thirtieth of that of full service stations and a median geographical area coverage around a fifty-fifth.
It also notes that around half of LPFMs have a religious format (compared to 5% of full-service commercial FMs) and hat only 12.6% have a music format compared to around 83% of commercial FMs.
In overall audience terms it says its examination of Fall 2009 Arbitron ratings data for LPFM revealed that LPFM stations are listened to by less than 0.2 percent of the radio-listening population and that LPFM listening represents less than 0.1 percent of total radio listening.
In disputed radio licensing postings apart from routine ones, the FCC has requested additional information from Truth Broadcasting Corp., licensee of KTIA-FM, Channel 257A, Boone, Iowa, in relation to a city of license modification request to move the licence to Johnston, Iowa.
Truth Broadcasting has argued that the request meets all four of the FCC's requirements for this arguing amongst other things that the proposed city of license modification could provide a first local service to Johnston whilst Boone would retain three local services and that the change would result in a net coverage gain of 312,451 persons with both the loss and gain areas considered well-served.
If the change is approved the station would cover 78.5% of the Des Moines Urbanized as opposed to none at present and Des Moines Community Radio Foundation, licensee of KFMG-LP, filed an informal objection as did a number of Des Moines residents.
Truth argues that Johnston is a growing community that has distinctive features, needs, and interests that set it apart from the Des Moines Urban Area but the FCC commented that the Des Moines cover that would result from the modification favours the presumption that the move should be treated as one to serve the Des Moines market rather than that of Johnson as does the proximity and sixe of Johnston compared to Des Moines.
Overall the FCC took the view that the "public interest would be better served by retention of KTIA-FM as a fourth transmission service at Boone, Iowa, rather than by the addition of at least the 17th local service to the Des Moines Urbanized Area" but it has given Truth Broadcasting 30 days to make its case before rejecting the modification.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA Privacy Guidelines (18-page 463 kb PDF):
FCC LPFM Economic Effects report (106-page 683 KB PDF):
2012-01-07: The number of licensed broadcast stations in the US at the end of 2011 at 30,411 was down by 30 compared to the total at the end of September and down by 219 compared to the total at the end of 2010 according to figures just released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Within the figures the radio total- commercial and FM educational stations - ended the year at 14,952 - down 87 on September and up 246 on the number at the end of 2010.
The year-on-year growth was mainly in FM Educational stations whose total was up 333 to 3644 whilst commercial FM numbers rose 16 to 6542 and commercial AM numbers fell by 16 to 4766.
Compared to September the FM Educational total was up 131; that of commercial FMs was up 12 and the commercial AM total fell by 4.
Low Power FM numbers fell by 21 year-on-year and from 859 to 838 and by 14 compared to the September total of 852.
Previous FCC station numbers:
2012-01-06: LKCM Radio Group's Country format KTFW-FM, Forth Worth, whose midday personality Debi Diaz announced on her Facebook page three days ago that the station's airstaff had been dropped, flipped at 0600 local time today to DJ-free "Hank FM - Plays Everything Country" - although its website when we last checked was still saying the new 921 Hank FM is "coming soon" (Its stream was live with both music and news and travel - and of course adverts).
DFW.com reporting on the switch quotes KTFW operations director Andy Meadows as saying that although there are other stations with the format - created by Howard Kroeger - their station is "unique". He added, "We're doing a different twist on the database in ours. It's a very wide variety. It's country all the way back to the '70s, with your Waylon and Willie and Merle, all the way to new country. The emphasis is on variety. Where your average country station has a 350-song playlist, we have well over 1,000, so it's three times the size of your average country station, and it's delivered with a fun attitude."
Meadows also complimented the former airstaff - morning host Brian Christopher; Diaz; and afternoon host and program director Sam "Lee" Whitmire - saying, "It's just a whole lot of music. So, unfortunately, going in that new direction, Sam Lee, Debi Diaz and Brian are no longer with us, which is unfortunate, because they were great employees, very professional. It had nothing to do with their performance, their talent or anything like that."
Sister station, Texas country KFWR (95.9 The Ranch) is not affected by the change.
RNW comment: Is it too cynical of us to suggest that formats like Bob. Hank and Jack are a pretty good argument for performance royalties in the current state of the music industry? After all they are basically just riding on the work of the artists whose music they air.
2012-01-05: Cox Media Group (CMG) which has just announced the successor to one company veteran (See RNW Jan 4) is now losing another - its Chief Revenue Officer Marc Morgan who is to retire from the company at the end of April.
Morgan has been with Cox 28 years having joined it as in 1984 as vice president and general manager of WCKG-FM in Chicago, Ill. where he worked until 1992. He was then was named vice president and general manager of WSB Radio in Atlanta, Ga. until 1998.
From 1996 to 1997 he served as senior vice president of Cox Radio, Inc. and from 1997 to 1999 as senior group vice president. In 1999 he was named vice president and co-chief operating officer of Cox Radio, Inc. and in 2003 was named executive vice president and chief operating officer until 2009, when he began serving in his current role.
Doug Franklin, CMG president, paying tribute to Morgan said in a release, "Marc has contributed immensely to Cox's success over the years through his leadership in radio and now with CMG."
He continued, "We will miss his insights, experience and wish him well as he retires" but then noted that Morgan has indicated that he intends to take on some consulting projects including working with CMG."
Previous Cox Media:
2012-01-05: The BBC Trust has revealed that it has given the go-ahead to a pilot programme of limited advertising on BBC World Service radio for the first time as well as extending advertising, which is already carried on the BBC's international-facing website, bbc.com, to World Service Arabic, Russian and Spanish websites.
The proposals were made to the Trust meeting in November last year whose minutes have just been posted and were made in relation to the British Government's Comprehensive Spending Review settlement which set the World Service a target to raise GBP 3 million (USD 4.7 million) in commercial income by 2013-14.
The radio advertising proposal is a year-long pilot to insert advertising into World Service English output on the Berlin FM frequency and the BBC Executive is to report back to the Trust on the trial in a year's time: The Trust noted that permission would also be required from the Foreign Secretary before implementation of the plan.
The plans were presented to the meeting by Jim Egan, Controller, Strategy and Distribution, Global News.
The BBC World Service made about GBP 4.6 million (USD 7.1 million) from commercial activities such as programme co-productions in the year to the of March 2011, but this, unlike advertising, would not be obvious to its audiences.
BBC Trust Minutes ( 9-page 72 kb PDF):
2012-01-04: Sirius XM says that preliminary figures show that it exceeded its guidance to add around 1.7 million subscribers in 2011 to reach a total of approaching 21.9 million with around 540,000 being added in the final quarter.
CEO Mel Karmazin said they were "very pleased about the performance and added, "Our subscriber growth accelerated in 2011 as net additions grew approximately 20%, delivering our best year for net additions since the merger and demonstrating the strong continuing demand for our unmatched audio content."
Previous Sirius XM:
2012-01-04: Cox Media Group has appointed Patti Milburn, formerly general sales manager of Clear Channel's AC KSSK-AM/FM and news KHVH-AM on the island, as Market Manager for Hawaii to replace Mike Kelly, who retired from the company at the end of 2011 after 26 years (See RNW Nov 3, 2011).
Cox operates four FMs and two AMs in Hawaii - KRTR-FM; KPHW-FM; KCCN-FM; and KINE-FM plus KRTR-AM and KKNE-AM.
Milburn, who comes from Calgary in Alberta, started her radio career in Victoria, British Columbia and then worked for CHUM in Vancouver, also in the province, before leaving Canada to move to Hawaii in 1986.
There she worked briefly in sales at ABC television affiliate, KITV4 before joining Clear Channel Radio.
Previous Cox Media:
2012-01-04: CBS Radio has now announced most of the line-up for its new Washington News station - All News 99.1 WNEW - that is to launch on January 19, with a mix of new and familiar names in the DC area: Program Director Robert Sanchez commented of the team in a news release, "We are very excited to have put together such a great group of professionals who have spent many years covering local and national news. Each brings a specialty to WNEW creating a great team which will deliver important and compelling news that matters to local residents. When Washington needs to know, this team will have them covered."
The new station will be competing for audience with Hubbard Broadcasting's long-established DC market leader WTOP-FM, which is currently a CBS Radio affiliate.
Launching the new programme at 0500 will be Bill Rehkopf and Amy Morris: Rehkopf was most recently at CBS Radio's Pittsburgh heritage news station KDKA-AM, and Morris has anchored Federal News Radio's 1500 AM WFED in the DC area since 2005, having previously been a general assignment reporter for WTOP.
They will be followed in the 1000-1400 mornings slot by Jenny Glick and Chas Henry: Glick comes from Hearst's WBAL-AM in Baltimore where she was a lead news anchor whilst Henry has reported and anchored for both WTOP and TV in the DC area.
Picking up in afternoons will be Evan Haning and Nancy Lyons: Haning has worked for WTOP for nearly a decade and before that was with WRC-AM for more than a decade whilst Lyons was most recently with NPR where she anchored the hourly newscasts for Weekend All Things Considered.
After that the 1900 to midnight slot is to be taken by Sarah Jacobs and Cheryl Simone: Simone has worked in Baltimore for the past 12 years whilst Simone was most recently with Clear Channel's WIOD-AM in Miami and before that spend a decade with CBS Radio's WINS-AM in New York.
2012-01-03: Univision Radio has appointed industry veteran Felix Perez as General Manager of its New York cluster - Spanish Contemporary WXNY-FM; regional Mexican WQBU -FM and Spanish news/talk WADO-AM.
Perez, who has held senior management positions with ESPN, Entravision, Katz Media and Univision, was most recently CEO/President of Davidson Media Group, which operates 31 radio stations in 13 states and 16 markets.
He succeeds Carey Davis, who left the company last year having been appointed as VP/GM for the cluster in October 2009 and was previously VP/ Multicultural ad sales at ABC Radio Network and before that VP/General Manager for Spanish Broadcasting System's WSKQ-FM (Mega 97.9) and WPAT-FM (Musica Variada) serving New York.
Announcing Perez' appointment Jose Valle, president of Univision Radio commented in a news release, "Felix's rich media background, leadership skills and management experience are important assets for Univision Radio as we continue to gain positive momentum in terms of ratings and sales. We are thrilled to have his experience, creativity and vision as we work to serve our diverse New York listeners with the content they crave."
Perez responded, "As a native New Yorker and a person familiar with WXNY, WADO and WQBU, as well as the competitive New York radio landscape, I am thrilled to be working with an excellent group of professionals as we continue to grow Univision Radio's properties."
2012-01-03: Clear Channel's San Francisco talk changes that were announced last month (See RNW Dec 16) went into effect today with the former KNEW-AM (Fox Newsradio) becoming KKSF NewsTalk 910 AM with a line-up that retains the Armstrong and Getty Show (Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty) from 06:00 but (although they remain on air until 10:00 on KSTE-AM, Sacramento) shortens it by an hour to make way for Rush Limbaugh (0900-noon): Limbaugh moves over from Cumulus's KSFO-AM (KSFO was one of the stations Citadel, now taken over by Cumulus, acquired when it bought ABC Radio from Disney in 2007 and Limbaugh is syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere Radio Networks) .
KKSF then has Tom Sullivan (Noon to 1500);then from 1500-1600 Len Tillem, who was picked up after he was dropped by Cumulus in its changes at KGO-AM - See RNW Dec 2; Gene Burns, also dumped by KGO (1600 to 1900); Alan Colmes from 1900-2200; The John and Jeff Show (John Boyle and Jeff Caroll -2200 to 0200); Phil Hendrie (0200-0500; and Wall Street Journal AM( 0500-0600)..
Burns did not make it for his first day at the station with Rich Liebermann reporting that "Unconfirmed reports indicate Burns suffered a 'mild' stroke, but it still expected back." In his absence the slot this week is being filled by former KGO hosts Bill Wattenburg ("Dr. Bill "- today); Gil Gross (Wednesday); John Rothmann (Thursday); and Rosie Allen (Friday).
KSFO, which in 1997 aired Lee Rodgers (Dropped in February last year), Melanie Morgan (dropped as part of budget cuts in February 2008 although the station then picked up her syndicated "America's Morning News" in the slot before the morning show), and Tom Benner ("Officer Vic" - who was dumped last Friday) has brought back Morgan who is on the Morning Show with Brian Sussman from today.
The KNEW call letters are now being used for the 960 AM frequency which has a line-up of Glenn Beck (0600-0900); Dave Ramsey (0900-noon); Randi Rhodes (noon to 1500); Norman Goldman (1500-1800); The Market Wrap with Moe Ansari (1800-1900); The Stephanie Miller Show (1900-2200); Thom Hartmann (22:00- 0100): Mike Malloy (0100-0300) and Bill Press (0300-0600).
Previous Clear Channel:
KNEW 960 website (the former green960 website redirects to this):
Rich Liebermann blog:
NewsTalk 910 website (the former Fox910 redirect to this):
2012-01-02: An update of his Linkedin profile by Walter Sabo indicates that he's been ousted by Merlin Media, listing his post as Chief Operating Officer at Merlin as "Past" along with other posts of Consultant at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Vice President at ABC Radio Networks, Executive Vice President, FM Radio at NBC, Director, FM network at ABC, and various earlier ones.
Sabo lists his current posts as Chief Executive Officer at HITVIEWS LLC, Chairman at Hitviews, and Chairman at Sabo Media: His Sabo Media biography has not been updated and still lists the company as consulting "all programming on Sirius Satellite Radio" with "an on-site office to facilitate interaction with the staff."
It also notes that Sabo Media is "the first to program talk successfully on the FM band for a younger audience"and continues 'Talk' on FM results in new revenue streams for the medium Other innovations include the creation of the format known as Adult Contemporary--the financial backbone of American radio."
His news format for Merlin - introduced at WEMP-FM in New York and FM News 101.1 in Chicago has hardly been an outstanding success and Robert Feder in his blog in Chicago Time Out is anything but complimentary, writing, "The long-expected removal of Walter Sabo as chief operating officer of Merlin Media won't do much to improve the prospects for the company's struggling all-news station."
Feder continues, "Although Sabo was the genius most responsible for the worst radio launch in living memory, FM News 101.1 seems hardly better off since CEO Randy Michaels began calling the shots last fall. Latest Arbitron ratings show the station languishing in 42nd place with a 0.3 percent audience share while CBS Radio's Newsradio AM/FM combo just keeps humming along at the top of the market."
Chicago Time Out - Feder blog:
Sabo Media - Sabo bio:
2012-01-01: Last week was one when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had formally announced that they would be taking a break until the New Year and apart from the US Federal Communications Commission the others might as well have done the same with no radio postings from any of them although Ofcom made some other postings in the UK.FCC website:
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ended the year by proposing fines of USD 22,000 for EEO (Equality of Employment Opportunity) breaches (See RNW Dec 30).
Earlier the FCC had posted a Third Report and Order regarding what it termed its "efforts to enhance the ability of federally recognized Native American Tribes and Alaska Native Villages not only to receive radio service tailored to their specific needs and cultures, but to increase ownership of such radio stations by Tribes and Tribal-owned entities."
In specific terms the agency said it has adopted its proposal to limit eligibility for authorizations associated with allotments added to the FM Table of Allotments using the recently established Tribal Priority to the Tribes whom the Tribal Priority was intended to benefit."
The Tribal Priority it added "also advances the policies and purposes of the Communications Act favouring the diversity of media voices and a fair and equitable distribution of radio service."
Commenting on the proposals in what is almost certainly his last comment before he stands down, Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps ended on a positive note, saying he was "happy to support this item today in the continued effort to bring new voices and media outlets to Tribal Lands."
There was still, however, a slight sting in the tail, with Copps adding, "This is a down-payment on the FCC's commitment to enhance the ownership of Tribal entities by establishing certain criteria which will prioritize ownership for qualified Tribes or Tribal entities. It is my hope and expectation that the Commission will continue this important work in the months and years ahead. During my time at the Commission I have endeavoured to make bringing modern telecommunications to Indian Country a priority. Today's action is a wonderful step in that direction."
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- December 2011-
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